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10:18 17 July
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Merkel to Trump: Falling German crime stats 'speak for themselves'


Chancellor Angela Merkel coolly rebuffed U.S. President Donald Trump’s assertion that migrants were behind a surge in crime in Germany, pointing to statistics that showed crime was in fact down. “My answer is that the interior minister presented the crime statistics a short while ago and they speak for themselves,” Merkel told a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron when asked about a recent flurry of tweets from Trump, APA reports quoting Reuters.

 

“We are seeing a slight positive development. We must always do more to fight criminality. But they were very encouraging numbers,” she added.

 

Statistics published last month showed that overall crime fell 9.6 percent in Germany in 2017.

 

A government-sponsored study published in January showed that violent crime had risen about 10 percent in 2015 and 2016, attributing more than 90 percent of the rise to young male asylum seekers.

 

Merkel has faced opposition at home for a decision in 2015 to open Germany’s borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants, mostly Middle Eastern asylum seekers who crossed by sea from Turkey to Greece and overland through the Balkans. That route has since been closed under a 2016 deal Turkey-EU deal.

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