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Merkel reduces Palestinian refugee to tears

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Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has been criticised for reducing a teenage Palestinian refugee to tears after responding to a question on immigration.

The video that went viral on Twitter and YouTube on Thursday shows the German leader comforting the girl after telling her that the country could not take in more refugees and some would have to be sent back to their home countries.

The girl named Reem, who had fled from Lebanon with her family four years ago, was participating in a televised question and answer session with Merkel in the town of Rostock.

She told the chancellor that she and her family were due to be deported from Germany and described her dream of remaining in the country.

“I also have dreams like anyone else. I want to study, it’s a wish and objective I want to accomplish,” Reem told Merkel, adding it was “not pleasing to witness how others can enjoy life” but she could not.

Merkel told the teenager that “politics is hard” and although Reem seemed like a likeable person, Germany could not cope with the influx wanting to come to the country.

“The only answer we have is that it won’t be long until cases have been decided…but some will have to go back, Within a year, I think…all the case,” Merkel told the teenager, causing her to break down in to tears.

Merkel leaves the stage to comfort Reem, describing the situation as “stressful”.

The incident provoked a strong backlash against Merkel, with a number condemning her for reaction. Some showed her comforting refugees in Iraq, while other poked fun at Merkel’s role in the recent Greece bailout crisis.

The number of people seeking refuge in Germany has increased steadily since 2008, hitting roughly 200,000 in 2014, and 127,023 in 2013. Many of the arrivals came from Syria, Eritrea, and Afghanistan. Al Jazeera


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