Merkel’s terrorism warning 'cheap propaganda trick to win back CDU voters'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. © Eric Vidal
Angela Merkel wants to stay in power and she needs the votes the CDU lost to AfD. She has to play on the topics like the refugee crisis and terrorism to gain more support among voters, says Daniel Kerekes, a member of the left-wing Die Linke Essen party.

Germany's Chancellor has for the first time publicly acknowledged that extremists could be taking advantage of the migrant influx to enter Germany and the European Union.

Over the past year, Angela Merkel, leader of the Christian Democratic Union [CDU] has been repeatedly warned about the security risks of her liberal open-door policy, which has allowed over 1 million refugees to enter her country, in many cases without the proper identification and documentation. The Chancellor's concession regarding the terror threat has led to some disbelief in Germany.

RT: Why do you make of Angela Merkel's admission after being a steadfast supporter of the EU's open-door policy?

Daniel Kerekes: Even if some terrorists come to Europe together with the refugees, Angela Merkel hasn’t presented us any evidence. Thomas de Maizière, the Federal Minister of the Interior months ago also speculated about such things but there is still no evidence.

RT: What are the chances that there might be a significant shift in the EU's migrant policy now?

DK: I think the EU immigrant policy can’t get worse because we still have many people dying in the Mediterranean Sea and closed borders in the Balkans. I don’t think it will change much because Angela Merkel has pushed the countries in the Balkans to close their borders - like Macedonia, like Serbia, like Croatia. I think this is a cheap propaganda trick to gain back the right-wing votes of the CDU which the CDU lost to the AfD.

RT: How unusual is it for Merkel to move towards being on the same page as her opponents like the 'Alternative for Germany' party?

DK: It is not unusual because she wants to stay in power and for that she needs votes. And the CDU lost the most votes to AfD so she has to play on the topics which the AfD claim for themselves like the refugee crisis and the rumor that there are terrorists among the refugees. It is a good rumor to gain more votes. It is a try to spread fear amongst people…

‘Merkel is waking up to the reality’

RT: What do you think prompted Angela Merkel to make this statement?

Peter Schulze, Professor of International Relations at the University of Goettingen: Counterterrorist agencies of Germany warned a long time ago that among the refugees which came into Germany last year – more than 1 million - people were not checked and the borders were basically open. There was a suspicion from the beginning that ISIS – the terrorists from Syria and Iraq - would use the possibility to smuggle so-called sleepers into Germany or into Europe. And connections to the terrorist attacks in Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium proved this kind of suspicion. Angela Merkel is just waking up to the reality and to her policy of open doors. It was expected that sooner or later she would need to address this kind of bitter reality.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.