Awkward

Video shows Angela Merkel tell crying refugee why her family can’t stay in Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel got a dramatic surprise Thursday when she faced the adverse effects of Germany’s strict immigration policies — in the form of a teary-eyed teenage girl. Merkel visited a high school in Rostock for a televised a conversation with high school students called “The Good Life in Germany.” But the discussion took an unexpected turn when a Palestinian teenager named Reem told Merkel that her family’s good life in Germany is in jeopardy because they’re facing deportation. They had left a refugee camp in Lebanon about four years ago. “I have goals in life like everyone else,” Reem told the chancellor. “I want to go to university … It’s really difficult to see that others are really able to enjoy their lives and you yourself can’t enjoy it with them.” A flustered Merkel responded saying though Reem is “an extremely nice person … politics is sometimes hard. You know, in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, there are thousands and thousands. If we now say ‘you can all come’ … we just can’t manage that.” Reem began to cry, leading to a well-meaning yet awkward hug from the chancellor. Critics on Twitter had a field day creating a hashtag #merkelstreichelt, meaning Merkel strokes … and we’re sure you can imagine where that led. After Merkel hugged the distraught, she and the discussion’s moderator engaged in a testy exchange.

Read the full story at Slate.

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