German Chancellor and Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) leader Angela Merkel delivered a 33-minute speech ahead of next month’s federal election, in Main-Kinzig-Kreis’s town of Gelnhausen, in Hesse, Monday.

SOT, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor and Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) leader (German): “We managed a lot over the last few years. Last years were not easy. You remember well the year 2015 when so many refugees came to us. And I would like to thank you; thank you to those who helped in the hour of need – as volunteers or professionals. It was very important, thank you, you did it great.”

SOT, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor and Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) leader (German): “Of course, we cannot allow a year like 2015 to recur every year. We don’t want that. That’s why we took specific measures – the agreement with Turkey, for example. We do more on the site, where the refugees live. At that time, we hadn’t paid enough attention to how bad the conditions had been for the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and in Jordan. Today, we are helping there much more. And we have to be much more involved in development cooperation – in Africa, for example. People need to have better living conditions in their home countries, because no one leaves their homeland voluntarily. Therefore in the coming years, we have to do more for development cooperation, for combating causes of flight than before.”

SOT, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor and Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) leader (German): “And, of course, Islamic terrorism is one of the biggest challenges that we have to deal with – not only we, but also our neighbours France, Belgium, Great Britain and many countries around the world. In this regard international cooperation is of the utmost importance. And we should clearly say: zero tolerance towards extremism of every kind – whether it comes from right or left, ladies and gentlemen!”

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