ANGELA Merkel was left squirming after an enraged party member told her on a video link that her refugee policy had left him “afraid for the safety and future of my four children”.
Mrs Merkel is normally protected from the sharp end of public opinion by phalanxes of flunkies, security personnel and office aides.
But there was no hiding place when she agreed to a virtual town hall meeting which linked her in her Berlin office with conservative voters in Frankfurt.
The embarrassing clash Thursday evening came days before her Christian Democratic Union party congress in Essen.
It gave the opportunity for people like the disillusioned father to vent his despair at the refugee policy that has riven the country, caused neo-Nazi violence to increase and lured her supporters into the arms of right-wing anti-immigrant parties like the Alternative for Germany (AfD.)
The man, a professor from the Rheingau region of western Germany, said to her: “I’m a father of four children. I’d much rather be sitting in an armchair right now and enjoy the rest of the evening… The only reason I am here is that for the first time in my life I am truly afraid.
“Afraid for the future of my children, afraid for the stability of our society, afraid for the security. Afraid that we won’t be able to get a handle on what started in the autumn of 2015.”
The dad added: ”Why not finally agree that people don’t want your refugee policy, that people actually require a very different course of refugee policy?
“For the first time in my life I fear for the safety and the future of my children.”
The professor, who it later emerged is a member of the think tank the Adenauer Foundation, has written a policy paper rejecting Mrs Merkel’s decision to let close to 1.5 million refugees into the country, many hundreds of whom intelligence chiefs now suspect may be Isis sleepers plotting carnage.
Mrs Merkel, ever the consummate politician, at first appeared taken aback but then said that the dignity of the the refugees was “inviolable” and that Germany could not just leave them to drown in the Mediterranean.
The Chancellor added: “I take seriously your fear and note your criticism. But I think that the consequences if we didn’t take the action that we did would have produced other worries.”
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