German regional elections could have implications for Merkel

CCTV News

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Germany is holding regional elections this weekend, but the results could have wider implications as voters are effectively being asked to pass judgment on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policies.

CCTV’s Guy Henderson reports from Berlin.

German regional elections could have implications for Merkel

German regional elections could have implications for Merkel

Germany is holding regional elections this weekend, but the results could have wider implications as voters are effectively being asked to pass judgment on Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policies.

Last year, Munzer Khattab was welcomed into Germany. He arrived from Syria with almost nothing, and now he’s learned the language, has German friends, and is starting a tech business.

For him, making Germany’s most liberal city home has been a two-way street.

“I think being multicultural is the integration – because it’s not just about us being part of the German culture, it’s about us bringing our culture into the German culture as well,” Khattab said.

Khattab arrived during Berlin mayor Michael Mueller’s term. But now that Mueller’s back on the campaign trail, he’s striking a tougher tone.

His Social Democrats – who form part of the national coalition government – have changed course: They’re now calling for an annual upper limit on asylum seekers. A once radical idea, is now seen by mainstream politicians in increasing numbers as a vote-winner.

Despite her critics, Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democrats continue – officially – to defend her more welcoming approach.

Two weeks ago, the Christian Democrats came third in a ballot in Merkel’s home state – behind the far right Alternative for Germany, which now hold seats in 9 of 16 state parliaments.

A further upset could be yet another boost to the Chancellor’s critics who say the country can’t help everyone.