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Refugee Crisis Puts an End to Merkel’s Golden Era

© AP Photo / Markus SchreiberGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel - Sputnik International
There are assumptions that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will have to leave her post before the next elections in 2017 because the discontent over the current refugee crisis among German residents is growing, journalist Gideon Rachman wrote.

Protestors hold a banner with manipulated images of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and German President Joachim Gauck, from left to right, during a demonstration of the PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West), marking the first anniversary of the anti-Islam group in Dresden, eastern Germany, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. - Sputnik International
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The migration crisis may put an end to the “golden era” of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the journalist wrote.

Now when the country is planning to take more than a million refugees by the end of 2015, Merkel’s unusually high ratings are starting to fall and the anxiety of the German public is growing. Merkel is even facing criticism from members of her own party, with some of them assuming that the German leader may have to leave her post before the next elections.

“Even if she sees out a full term, the notion of a fourth Merkel administration, widely discussed a few months ago, now seems improbable,” the journalist wrote in Financial Times.

According to Rachman, the situation with refugees has got out of hand. The German public no longer accepts the arguments in favor of the newcomers from the Middle East. On the contrary, people are starting to protest against the inflow of migrants. 

“Some voters seem to have concluded that Mutti has gone mad — flinging open Germany’s borders to the wretched of the earth,” Rachman wrote.

Supporters of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) demonstrate against the German government's new policy for migrants, in Erfurt, Germany October 21, 2015 - Sputnik International
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If Germany would follow the example of Hungary and close the borders, it could quickly solve the problem.  However, it is unlikely that the Chancellor will undertake such measures as she is aware that this would be contrary to the EU principle of freedom of movement.

Moreover, Merkel understands that the construction of the fence could redirect the refugee flow to the Balkans and destabilize the region.

According to the author, the refugee crisis marks a “turning point” in Merkel’s career, which may heavily affect its reputation and put Germany’s peaceful and prosperous life at risk.

“The decade after Ms Merkel first came to power in 2005 now looks like a blessed period for Germany, in which the country was able to enjoy peace, prosperity and international respect, while keeping the troubles of the world at a safe distance. That golden era is now over,” Rachman wrote.

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