Merkel draws party cheers for centrist line on refugees

Asylum seekers wait in front of the State Office of Health and Social Affairs in Berlin on December 9, 2015German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged Monday to reduce a massive refugee influx but insisted on keeping the door open to the world’s neediest, drawing a rousing standing ovation from her party. After weeks of infighting over the expected arrival of around one million asylum seekers to Germany this year, Merkel united her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) behind a centrist line of generosity with clear limits. Merkel, 61, appealed to the venerable party’s sense of history, saying that the same strength that allowed it “to rebuild from the rubble of the war to create the economic miracle, and to go from division to a reunified country” would get Germany through the refugee crisis.

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