Angela Merkel has vowed “no tolerance” for violent anti-migrant protests that have gripped Germany in recent weeks.
The German chancellor called on her countrymen to make a stand against the “shameful and disgusting” protests on Wednesday, as she visited a migrant shelter that has been the scene of some of the worst violence.
“There is no tolerance for those people who question the dignity of others, there is no tolerance for those who are not willing to help where legal and human help is required,” Mrs Merkel said.
“The more people who make this clear, the stronger we shall be.”
But Mrs Merkel was booed and denounced as a “traitor” by rightwing protesters as she visited the government migrant shelter in the small town of Heidenau, outside Dresden.
More than 30 police officers were injured in three nights of running battles with protesters trying to stop asylum-seekers from entering the shelter over the weekend.
“Germany will help where help is needed. This will require still more strength,” Mrs Merkel said.
“We cannot operate as if we were in a normal situation. We shall succeed only if we break new ground together.”
Germany takes in by far the most asylum-seekers of any EU state, and expects to host 800,000 this year.
The country recently stopped deporting Syrian refugees under EU rules that require them to claim asylum in the first country they reach, and started accepting their claims itself.
But the record numbers have seen an outbreak of violent protests from the far-Right, and Mrs Merkel has been under increasing pressure to take a stand on the issue.
Meanwhile British premier David Cameron has called migrants “swarms of people” linked to organised crime in an interview with ITV.
Source: The Telegraph/ITV