No, no, no. Merkel, you were the one that wanted all of these refugees. Now that you want to get re-elected, you are putting bans in for Muslims? That’s not how this works. The German people still remember who let them come in the first place. You made your bed, now lie in it.
In an astonishing U-turn, the German chancellor told her conservative CDU party conference that wearing the burka should be outlawed ‘wherever that is legally possible’.
It comes after the 62-year-old stressed her determination to ensure there is no repeat of last year’s huge migrant influx as she seeks a fourth term as chancellor.
Merkel said she would back a nationwide ban just months after revealing that she believed the burka was a barrier to Muslim women becoming integrated into German society.
She told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland in August: ‘From my point of view, a completely covered woman has almost no chance of integrating herself in Germany.’
Previously, Merkel has stopped short of calling for a ban on Islamic clothing, saying: ‘This is a question of finding the right political and legal balance.’
Her new, tougher stance comes a week after Dutch MPs voted overwhelmingly to ban the Islamic full-face veil from some public places such as schools and hospitals, the latest such move in a European country.
The legislation must now go before the Senate for approval before becoming law. It follows similar bans imposed in France and Belgium, and comes amid rising tensions in Europe with Islamic communities.
Merkel came out fighting on the first day of her conservative party congress pledging to ban the burka and bring the refugee crisis under control.
A 77 minute speech interrupted by minutes of standing ovations proved the most powerful woman on the continent still has what it takes to rally the faithful.
She pledged to strengthen the forces of law and order while speeding up the sclerotic deportation process of failed asylum seekers.
‘Not all the 890,000 refugees who came last year can or will stay,’ she said at the start of her speech designed to claw back ground lost in recent months to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.