Prominent intellectuals back Merkel′s refugee policy | News | DW | 20.02.2016
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Prominent intellectuals back Merkel's refugee policy

Eminent figures from inside and outside Germany have written an open letter supporting Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policy. The open letter ran with the headline "We can do it," echoing Merkel's oft-used phrase.

More than 70 prominent personalities from the arts, culture, politics and civil society signed the half-page letter published on Saturday in the German newspaper "Die Welt," giving support to Merkel as her steadfast stance on refugees comes under scrutiny at home and the crisis threatens European unity.

"You have transformed our country. People no longer fear Germany; on the contrary: they want to come to Germany. After the horror and crimes that came out of Germany, this is a new, wonderful experience for us," the signatories wrote.

Among those putting their name on the letter were Nobel laureate for literature Herta Müller, the conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim, holocaust survivor Margot Friedlander, actor Edgar Selge, producer Nico Hofmann and director Jürgen Flimm.

"We wish you strength and success for the coming negotiations," the group wrote, referring to tough EU talks on handling the refugee crisis. "Europe, this new Germany and the refugees need you."

Merkel has persisted with a multipronged approach to the refugee crisis, arguing for open borders and a European solution while attempting to tackle the root causes of refugee flight from Syria.

While winning praise from many quarters, the German chancellor has seen her support drop among the public and even within her own party. In response, the government is quickly moving to reform and streamline asylum policy.

The refugee crisis has tested the German vision for a united, open and stronger Europe, as the EU member states squabble over how to handle the refugee crisis, and throw up border controls amid a backlash against the influx of refugees.

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