German Chancellor Angela Merkel received thunderous applause on Tuesday when she announced at her party’s annual convention that she wanted to ban the full-face veil.
Merkel is running for a fourth term as German Chancellor and has started presenting her campaign strategy at the Christian Democratic Union congress in Essen, where her party is expected to re-elect her as party leader.
“The same laws apply to everyone in Germany. For everyone without exception. Our rights take precedence over tribal laws and Sharia laws,” Merkel said at the conference according to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine. “Part of it is that here we are showing our faces. The full face veil is not appropriate here and should be prohibited.”
The Chancellor said that Germany faced an extraordinary humanitarian crisis last year when hundreds of thousands of refugees flocked to the country. But she said that not everyone who came could stay in Germany.
“A situation like that of last summer cannot and must not be repeated. It is my declared political objective”, she declared at the beginning of her speech.
Merkel faces an uphill battle for her re-election. His approval numbers have plummeted as Germans become increasingly suspicious of his refugee policy. Among the million asylum seekers who have arrived in Germany, many are Muslims and part of the population fears that the difference in culture and religion will prevent them from integrating into German society.
Since last year, the anti-immigration Alternative fÃ¼r Deutschland (AfD) party has garnered unprecedented support as Germans have started to find the party’s extreme positions more attractive.
Merkel’s plans to tackle this wave are some of the main points she should make during her speech at the CDU Congress and the proposed face veil ban will no doubt appeal to voters who might have considered vote for parties with more extreme programs.
But, the Chancellor also reiterated her opposition to populist parties, saying they would fail to define German national identity.
“We can all determine who ‘the people’ are, not just a few, no matter how loud they are,” said Merkel – and warned against easy answers: “The world is not dark and white. Easy answers seldom bring progress in our country. “
The Chancellor also mentioned that the UK would not be allowed to choose which parts of the EU it wished to keep or leave behind during the negotiations and added that stabilizing the EU was a key priority in these time. growing international instability.