Saturday, April 1, 2017

Merkel calls on refugees to respect local laws, urges Germans to be open

The German Chancellor used her weekly video address on Saturday to call on the hundreds of thousands of refugees in the country to respect local laws and values, while urging the native Germans to be more open.

Germany has welcomed around 1.2 million asylum seekers in a period of around two years and immigration policies remained highly scrutinized by the public in a nation braced for a general election in Sept. this year.

"On the one hand, I hope that refugees abide by out laws, that they take interest in our country and respect our values. One the other hand we Germans must also be open," said Angela Merkel.

Merkel's agenda for the coming week sought to affirm her commitment to the policy of accepting refugees.

She is set to attend an asylum center in Cologne along with that city's top-flight soccer team, before attending a meeting with organizations charged with providing care to refugees followed by a reception event with voluntary workers in the immigration sector.

Merkel said that welcoming refugees from around the world gave Germans the opportunity to learn about different customs and traditions.

"We should view it as an opportunity to learn and know more," she said.

Many refugees heading to Germany seek accommodation in the nation's cities, where housing options are limited.

Merkel has recently pushed for refugees to seek residence in rural areas.

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