With anti-immigration parties flourishing, Europe’s inequalities and injustices must be tackled to counter the extremists
As migrants from Syria poured into Germany throughout the summer of 2015, Angela Merkel responded with the reassurance: “We can manage this.” The phrase came to define Merkel’s chancellorship, setting her apart from the rest of the European elite for its humanitarian commitment to the refugee crisis.
For the far right, Merkel’s welcoming response symbolised all that was wrong with Europe. They declared her out of touch with ordinary, working people. Across European capitals moderates were also incandescent . Some rejected the approach in principle, advocating “securing” EU borders instead. Others saw it as a well-intentioned but muddled gesture, a gift to the far right.
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