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Angela Merkel's kindness to refugees is in stark contrast to Priti Patel's lack of compassion

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Germany bids Auf Wiedersehen to Frau Merkel, oft a complicated, calculating, compromising politician, sometimes ruthless, but for the most part, morally grounded. I will never forget that day in August 2015, when she simply said: “Wir schaffen das” (“We can do this!”). European nations were going through their periodic paroxysms over migrants/refugees who were fleeing Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, all war-torn countries, the last three subjected to catastrophic Western interventions.

The EU Dublin Regulation stipulates that asylum seekers must be registered in the first safe EU country they enter. Merkel disregarded that directive and allowed over a million displaced people to settle in her country. Right-wing parties and voters vociferously opposed this open-door policy. At times the government lost control. In 2016, Islamist terrorists carried out attacks in different parts of Germany. They could not unnerve or demoralise the Chancellor. If Germany, she said, did not welcome refugees, “it would not be my country”.

I asked John Kampfner, author of Why the Germans Do It Better: Notes from a Grown-Up Country, to talk me........

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