40% of Germans want Merkel to quit over refugees: Poll

Angela Merkel has pledged to reduce the number of migrants and asylum seekers arriving this year in Germany.
Angela Merkel has pledged to reduce the number of migrants and asylum seekers arriving this year in Germany.PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (AFP) - Nearly 40 per cent of German voters think Chancellor Angela Merkel should quit over her liberal asylum policy after almost 1.1 million newcomers arrived last year, a poll showed on Friday (Jan 29).

As the mood in Germany has shifted from a euphoric welcome for people fleeing war and persecution last September to growing doubts about the country's ability to accommodate and integrate the record influx, the popular Merkel has come under increasing pressure.

However, the poll for Focus news magazine conducted by the independent opinion research institute Insa among 2,047 German citizens showed that a larger share - nearly 45 per cent - did not think Merkel should resign.

Among members of her conservative Christian Union bloc, nearly 27 per cent said they wanted Merkel, who has been in power since 2005, to step down.

Merkel has pledged to "tangibly" reduce the number of migrants and asylum seekers arriving this year with a range of measures in Germany, on the European level and with the help of international partners such as Turkey.

She struck an accord late Thursday with her fractious left-right coalition to tighten asylum policies, notably by making it easier to send back arrivals from North Africa and by delaying family reunifications.

The survey was conducted January 22-25.