11 February 2016

Is Putin Trying to Topple Merkel?


EU Observer:
If Russian leader Vladimir Putin was trying to use refugees to topple German chancellor Angela Merkel, then Aleppo was a step too far, Norbert Roettgen, the head of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee, has told EUobserver.

Merkel’s decision to welcome the huge numbers of people coming from Syria to Germany has drained her popularity over the past year.

She'll have to fight for re-election at the latest in September 2017.

When German pollster Insa-Consulere asked people last week if she should quit now, 40% said 'yes'.

'A year ago nobody would have dared asked questions like we did,' Hermann Binkert, the Insa-Consulere director, told EUobserver on Monday.


'But in the meantime, her approval ratings have dropped, mostly because of her position on refugees … Right now, there’s no discussion of an early election in Germany. But we can’t say how the situation will develop.'

The situation escalated last weekend when Syrian regime forces, backed by Russian air power, reached Aleppo in northern Syria, prompting tens of thousands of people to flee toward Europe.

It had already escalated on New Year’s Eve, when migrant men carried out sex assaults against German women in Cologne.

Pro-Kremlin media tried to make things worse by spreading a fake story that migrants also raped a 13-year old girl... 


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