Forty percent of Germans want Chancellor Angela Merkel to resign over her refugee policy, according to a poll published Friday, a day after Germany announced plans to crack down on the amount of refugees flowing through its borders.
The poll by German magazine Focus surveyed 2,047 Germans between Jan. 22 to Jan. 25, with 40 percent saying she should quit over her welcoming stance towards refugees from the Middle East and Africa, Reuters reports. The poll also stated that 45.2 percent believed Merkel’s refugee policy was not a reason for her to quit her job.
On Thursday, Germany, hoping to settle public nerves after a string of sexual assaults in Cologne and other cities on New Year’s Eve, announced plans to add the North African countries of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia to its “safe countries” list.
Sigmar Gabriel, the country’s economy minister, said residents of those countries would now be unlikely to gain asylum status in Germany, Newsweek reports.
Berlin received more than 1.1 million requests for refuge in 2015 and hopes the moves will cut down on the increasing number of migrants from North Africa that have been arriving in recent months, AFP reports.
Germany has already classified countries such as Albania and Montenegro as safe after tens of thousands of asylum-seekers arrived from there.
Germany’s ruling coalition also announced Thursday that it will speed up the deportations of failed applicants and reduce the financial support for asylum-seekers, Sky News reports.
"We want those with prospects of remaining to be integrated, but we also want to say that we need those who have no prospect of remaining to return,” Merkel said.
In a move aimed at blocking families from joining refugees in Germany, those who do not face “immediate personal persecution” will not be allowed to bring their relatives for two years.