- Title: Merkel defends refugee policy at final party regional conference
- Date: 2nd December 2016
- Summary: JENA, GERMANY (DECEMBER 2, 2016) (REUTERS) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL AND CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION (CDU) PARTY OFFICIALS ARRIVING ON STAGE PHOTOGRAPHER MERKEL GREETING AUDIENCE AND SEEN ON BIG SCREEN CAMERA OPERATOR REFUGEE FROM ERITREA WALKING TO MICROPHONE MERKEL LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (German) REFUGEE FROM ERITREA, NAME NOT PROVIDED, SAYING (AS SEEN ON BIG SCREEN): "I thank you Ms. Chancellor Merkel. I want to shake your hand." (APPLAUSE) MERKEL GETTING UP TO SHAKE HANDS WITH REFUGEES AND POSE FOR PHOTO WITH THEM (SOUNDBITE) (German) CDU PARTY MEMBER, WOLFGANG MEISSNER, SAYING: "You are the nemesis of our former large Christian Democratic Union of Germany. That's why I call for you Ms. Merkel to give the CDU a chance for conservative regeneration. Resign as chancellor and as CDU head. Leave our party." MERKEL DELIVERING SPEECH (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "If someone flees from Aleppo, and you see every night the pictures from Aleppo, and you know what's happening there. That doesn't mean that these people did not like living in Aleppo and would not like again perhaps to live in Aleppo. But at the moment it does not seem very easily possible, and I must say to you, I sleep every night aggrieved, because as a politician, I do not like that all the people come to Germany but there are 250,000 people there that have no doctor, no medication, where there is nothing, and they stand powerless and watch how the bombs fall. That is depressing not just for you, but for me. I want to say that very clearly." MERKEL AT PODIUM AS AUDIENCE APPLAUDS CAMERA OPERATOR MERKEL RETURNING TO SEAT
- Embargoed: 17th December 2016 19:09
- Keywords: Merkel refugees Eritrea CDU
- Location: JENA, GERMANY
- City: JENA, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Reuters ID: LVA0015B6US7B
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrapped up her last of four regional conferences for her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party on Friday (December 2), hotly defending her open-door policy against critics.
Refugees from countries such as Syria and Eritrea came to meet the chancellor and asked to shake her hand.
However there was also staunch disapproval from some party members who stood up to the microphone, including one who called for Merkel "to give the CDU a chance for conservative regeneration" by stepping down.
Merkel said that refugees were just as welcome as critics to the party meeting, and expressed her own restlessness at thinking about Aleppo, the northern city where the fiercest recent battles in Syria's civil war have taken place.
"I must say to you, I sleep every night aggrieved, because as a politician, I do not like that all the people come to Germany but there are 250,000 people there that have no doctor, no medication, where there is nothing, and they stand powerless and watch how the bombs fall. That is depressing not just for you, but for me. I want to say that very clearly," she said to applause.
More than a million migrants have come to Germany since the start of 2015, and an initial outpouring of helpfulness has largely given way to caution and concerns about integration and security.
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