And despite her well documented open-door immigration policy, Mrs Merkel said she will soon start sending some of the hundreds of thousands of migrants currently staying in Germany to other countries within the European Union.
At the end of last month, after her Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) party lost two state elections due to the open-door policy, Mrs Merkel admitted she regretted letting almost a million refugees pour in through Germany’s borders last year.
She sheepishly told a news conference in Berlin: “If I could, I would turn back the time by many, many years.”
She accepted Germany had not been prepared for the influx of migrants and said if she believed the public wanted her to change the country’s migrant policy she would consider it.
However, today, Mrs Merkel appears to have performed a dramatic u-turn by announcing she has not changed her policy on migration at all.
She told a German newspaper: “I have not changed my policy, but made policy. I see no change of course other than coherent work for many, many months.”
She went on to say she has been working on “solutions which are good for Germany and Europe” since the summer, including protecting Europe’s borders and tacking the reasons that are causing migrants to flee Africa, Asia and the Middle East and head for Europe.
She did, however, add: “Our aim is that a situation like last year does not happen again and in fact we have made great progress over the past 12 months.”
About 210,000 people have sought asylum in Germany so far this year compared with 890,000 in the whole of 2015.
Mrs Merkel said Germany’s main aim now is to send back those people who do not have a right to asylum in Germany, and negotiate with other EU member states with the intention of distributing migrants among those countries.
Today’s announcement will anger the thousands of German residents who carried out mass protests over immigration in Berlin in July, demanding Mrs Merkel step down.
The protests followed a number of attacks on German citizens by migrants, including sex attacks on more than 1,000 women in a number of German cities on New Year’s Eve.
Counter protests also took place and some Germans gathered at train stations to welcome migrants with banners and presents.