Merkel mocked for response to crying refugee
Angela Merkel has come under fire for her awkward treatment of a young refugee brought to tears by the German chancellor's comments on asylum.
A video of the encounter at a community event in Rostock showed the Palestinian teenager telling Mrs Merkel that her family had been waiting four years to get permanent leave to remain in Germany.
"It's really unpleasant to watch others enjoy their life and not be able to enjoy it oneself," the girl told Mrs Merkel, saying that she wanted to go to university.
In response, Mrs Merkel told her "sometimes politics is hard" and Germany can't accommodate everybody who wants to come. Since the teen's family had previously lived in Lebanon, a country Germany considers safe for refugees, their chances of being allowed to stay aren't certain.
As Mrs Merkel outlined her government's desire to speed up asylum decisions so all applicants receive a verdict within a year, the teen burst into tears. After a brief hesitation, Mrs Merkel walked over to comfort her.
"I know it's a difficult situation, but I still want to give her a pat," the chancellor said.
"The mistakes in the government's refugee policies can't be patted away," tweeted Katrin Goering-Eckardt of the opposition Green party.