Merkel hits a more conciliatory note in Bavaria

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At a forum organized by a regional newspaper in the Bavarian town of Augsburg, Merkel grudgingly admitted Hungary’s role in defending Europe’s borders, Origo reports.

“(Orbán) always points out how well he is defending the border, which I otherwise find correct and I have never spoken against his defense of the borders, because (Hungary) has outer Schengen borders, but this unfortunately was not yet built when so many migrants arrived,” Merkel said

“But I also find it somewhat strange that he keeps lambasting us,” she added.

Merkel – faced with one crisis after another within her shaky governing coalition – suffered her latest defeat on September 25, when the Christian Democrat/Christian Social (CDU/CSU) parliamentary group elected a counter-candidate to lead the group, replacing Volker Kauder who has been leading the formation since 2005, and who is considered by many as Merkel’s right hand. He is succeeded by Ralph Brinkhaus who won the vote 125 against 112, but more importantly, this was the first case since 1976 where there was an alternate candidate for the position.

Referring to the migrant debate, Merkel said in Augsburg that there should be an attempt to reconcile opposing sides and “deal with the future instead of the past”.

She again stated that she will run for the CDU presidency at the December party election and plans to remain chancellor until the end of her term in 2021.

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