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In her New Year’s speech, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on citizens to go into 2017 with optimism and defy terrorism. But to guarantee “security in freedom,” she said new security measures may be necessary.

In her New Year’s speech, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the past 12 months “tested us in many ways.” Among those, Islamic terrorism was “without a doubt” the “most difficult test.” The country  saw a string of attacks  throughout the  year: in Würzburg, Ansbach and most recently, Berlin.

Twelve people were killed when Anis  Amri drove  a truck through a crowded Christmas market in the German capital on December 19. The 23-year-old Tunisian came to Germany as a refugee.

It is “a bitter reckoning – and a despicable one,” said the chancellor, when terror attacks are committed by people “who came here ostensibly to seek safe haven and then received help and support.” These acts “make a mockery” of the German willingness to help, and also those people “who truly need and deserve our protection.”

Merkel called for confidence “in a firm resolve to take a stand against the terrorists’ world of hate with our humanity and solidarity.”

The chancellor and leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) confirmed her position on refugee policy in her message for the new year. “And as we are confronted with images of the bombed-out city of Aleppo in Syria, we reiterate how important and vital it has been for our country to take in those who truly needed protection, and to help them become integrated here,” she said.

For the chancellor, the terrorists live in a “hate-filled world” and the rule of law and democracy run contrary to that. “We are stronger when we are united. Our country is stronger,” she said, adding that the state must also stand up to terrorism in order to guarantee “security in freedom” for its citizens. “In the coming year, if necessary, the German government will quickly introduce and enact additional legal and policy measures,” said Merkel.


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