Merkel's New Year speech: Must see refugees as an opportunity
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will in her New Year speech Thursday encourage Germans to regard the record number of asylum seekers who have arrived to the country this year as an opportunity for the future.
At the same time she admits that the integration of migrants, many of them Muslims who claim to have fled war in the Middle East, will cost Germany "time, effort and money." But the country is strong enough to handle it, says Merkel and points to the low unemployment and rising wages.
- I am convinced that if we can cope with the huge task of integrating so many people the right way, then it will be an opportunity for us tomorrow, Merkel will tell her countrymen, writes Reuters, after the speech has been released to the press in advance.
Germany has received over 1.1 million migrants and asylum seekers this year, far more than any other European country.
Merkel will in her New Year speech urgently encourage those who are in doubt about what to think about the situation, not to follow racists and hate promoters.
The speech is to be broadcasted on German TV on New Year's Eve and may also be viewed online with both English and Arabic subtitles.
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Migrants refusing help from Maltese patrol boats
Because that would make it difficult for them to proceed to Northern Europe.