Five years ago, as more and more refugees crossed into Europe, Germany’s chancellor proclaimed, ‘We’ll manage this.’ Critics said it was her great mistake — but she has been proved right.
Germany is a strong country but concerns about the steeply rising number of people — mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan — applying for asylum in Germany that summer.
The German phrase Merkel used, Wir schaffen das, became so memorable mainly because it would in the weeks and months that followed be endlessly quoted back at her by those who believed that the German chancellor’s optimistic message had encouraged millions more migrants to embark on a dangerous odyssey across the Med. “Merkel’s actions, now, will be hard to correct: her words cannot be unsaid,” wrote the Spectator. “She has exacerbated a problem that will be with us for years, perhaps decades.”