The vast majority of the German citizens would not reject the imposition of an upper limit on the number of asylum seekers allowed across the German borders, according to the results of an opinion poll conducted by Infratest.
The Local Germany reported that according to the survey, only 11 percent of Germans disagree with the idea of the upper limit. The majority of the people asked (38 percent) said that the government must only allow 200,000 asylum seekers to enter Germany per year. Twenty one percent of the German citizens, said that Germany must stop all refugees from entering their country, while 17 percent said there should be an upper limit of half a million.
On Sunday, Merkel stressed that the German government aims to continue its open-door refuge policy, but she also said that the refugee influx in Germany will be kept under 1 million in 2016. Last year, more than 1.1 million refugees entered the richest EU state, with the majority arriving in the second half of the year.
The results of the poll coincide with a leaked information published by British daily, The Telegraph, after citing German weekly Welt am Sonntag. The German weekly reported that the German government is considering closing its borders to asylum-seekers in an attempt to pressure the rest of the EU countries to take action and deal with the European refugee crisis.
Schäuble backs Merkel
Many German policy makers are pressuring Merkel to change the government’s refugee policy, and impose a limit over the number of asylum seekers allowed to enter Germany. However, the influential German finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, is backing Merkel on the issue and said that Germany will not impose any limit, unlike Austria and Sweden.
According to the Telegraph, the German Finance Minister commented of the comments made by Hans Peter Doskozil, the Austrian defense minister, who said that the German government “should be grateful” for the Austrian limits, because it helped Germany to reduce the refugee influx and advised Germany to impose limits too. The German Finance Minister replied:
“If there were only the images of barbed wire on the Balkan Route or in Budapest station or Calais, Europe would be pretty embarrassed…With all due respect, Austria is relatively small. It doesn’t take much to control its border. It won’t tear Europe apart…But we are right in the middle. You can’t contend with Europe without dealing with Germany. We have to take on this responsibility, we cannot behave like Austria or Sweden.”