BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel put up a spirited defense of her leadership Friday, vowing to “fight” for “my vision” of how to deal with the migrant crisis that has stretched Germany’s resources and damaged her standing.
Infighting in Merkel’s ruling coalition and a unilateral decision by her interior minister on asylum policy have raised questions about the chancellor’s leadership, although coalition sources have dismissed speculation of a “putsch” against her.
A poll for television station ZDF on Friday showed that a narrow majority of Germans think Merkel is doing a poor job of handling the crisis.
Critics say her accommodating message in August that “we can do this” — responding to wrenching scenes of migrants and refugees faced with border closures and popular hostility in trying to enter some European Union states — has spurred these groups to pour into Germany in ever-larger numbers, overwhelming the resources of local authorities.
The 61-year-old chancellor struck a defiant tone when interviewed for a ZDF program headlined “What now Frau Merkel?”