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Published: Thu, September 08, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Merkel: Migrant situation in Germany "many times better"

Merkel: Migrant situation in Germany

"Politicians like us have a responsibility to moderate our speech", she said.

Germany has witnessed a year ago the biggest refugee crisis in decades, and accepted more than a million refugees; most of these were Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans, who traveled to the country through the Balkan route, after crossing the Aegean.

Germany has made large strides in the past year in dealing with the hundreds of thousands of migrants who arrived in 2015, but there is still much to do, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said.

She said the deal had improved living conditions of refugees in Turkey and significantly reduced illegal trafficking through the Aegean. It is now represented in nine of Germany's 16 states and looks poised to enter the Bundestag next year.

She says "the situation today is many times better than a year ago, but there remains a lot to do".

She said Germany needs to take a leadership role in global issues, including in the fight against terrorism, questions of "territorial integrity" such as seen in Ukraine, and Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

"Change is not a bad thing". "Germany will remain Germany, with everything we hold dear".

She said she will resist pressure for "seemingly easy solutions that are actually illusory solutions".

"I am sure that if we stick to the truth, we will win back what we need - peoples' trust", she said.

Her remarks came after Turkey's criticism of its European partners for failing to show strong solidarity with the Turkish people against the coup attempt by Gulenists, also known as the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which left 240 people martyred and almost 2,200 injured.

Though the result will not have a direct impact on the workings of the German government, and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern only has a population of 1.6 million, it has a symbolic value, with regional elections in Berlin on 18 September and a general election coming up next year. An INSA poll on Tuesday put them at 15 percent nationally, compared to 30.5 percent for Merkel's conservative bloc which shares power with the Social Democrats. Critics have accused Merkel of cosying up to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan despite his patchy human rights record, especially after a July coup attempt.

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