Ahead of passing new asylum seeker reforms, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany cannot cope with the refugee crisis alone. Her present policy has come under fire once again at a regional party congress.
Participants at the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) conference in Schkeuditz, close to Leipzig in eastern Germany, accused Merkel on Wednesday evening of having failed to deal with the huge influx of refugees who have arrived in Germany in recent months.
One member of the almost 1,000-strong audience spoke of a looming "national disaster," while a placard reading the words, "Stop the refugee chaos - Maintain German culture and values - Dethrone Merkel," was also seen at the conference.
Despite the criticism, however, the chancellor once again defended her stance.
"In principle, every human is entitled to the right of asylum and protection against civil war and persecution," Merkel told her fellow party members.
"People who have the right to stay must also be offered prospects in Germany. At the same time, people who cannot stay must be sent back to their home country," she said.
With this in mind, the chancellor demanded that all migrants without the right to stay be deported from Germany.
"In this regard, we have to admit, we're nowhere near good enough," Merkel said.
On the issue of deportation, Germany is very much in the middle ground compared to the rest of Europe. The UK currently deports around 73 percent of rejected Pakistani asylum applications, Greece 44 percent and Germany 33 percent.
EU summit to tackle refugee crisis
The CDU conference on Wednesday came just a day before EU heads of state and government leaders were due to meet in Brussels to discuss the refugee crisis.
"I will work tomorrow at the EU summit to ensure that, step by step, we finally reach a fair division of reponsibilities in Europe," Merkel said.
The chancellor added that it was not only essential that asylum seekers were distributed across Europe, but that the refugees themselves must accept which EU state they are assigned to.
ksb/kms (Reuters, dpa)