The refugee crisis has seen more than a million migrants enter Germany since the beginning of 2015. The country’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, who has widely supported the incoming of refugees, is now taking an anti-refugee stance, as she announced her intention to stand for a fourth term as the country’s leader.
Her declaration received two very contrasting reactions.
At a regional conference of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), party member Ulrich Sauer called out the chancellor for her welcoming attitude toward migrants.
"With your truly unparalleled 'laissez-faire' refugee policy you have burdened us with something that we will not get rid of any time soon. Step down now before the damage you have done becomes even greater,” Sauer said in demanding her resignation.
But on the other hand, a little Afghan refugee boy stood out among the crowd — quite literally. A CDU supporter, who assists refugees, introduced Idris to Merkel as his father lifted him up so he could be seen.
The child apparently had always wished to touch the chancellor’s hand, and fulfilling his dream, Merkel walked up to the boy who was now standing by the stage. He wiped his tears as the two shook hands.
"I would like to thank you, Mrs. Merkel. I am very, very happy,” Idris said in fluent German.
The woman praised him for having learned quite a bit of the language and encouraged him to keep up his practice.
Just last year, Merkel was widely criticized after she reduced a Palestinian girl to tears by telling her that her family might be deported.
“You know, in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon there are thousands and thousands of people. If we now say ’you can all come...’ we just can't manage that,” Merkel told Reem, who revealed her family had waited four years to receive permanent residency.
She then walked over to the girl and stroked her hair to offer her comfort, but people on social media used the hashtag #Merkelstreichelt (Merkel strokes) to call Merkel a cold-hearted person.
Check out the heart-warming exchange between Idris and Merkel above.