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Merkel expects refugees to respect German laws and way of life

March 06, 7:40 UTC+3 BERLIN
Germany received more than a million refugees last year
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BERLIN, March 6 /TASS/. German Chancellor Angela Merkel expects migrants arriving in Germany to respect the local way of life and visit integration courses.

"I expect the people who are seeking our protection and shelter to be open towards our country and our way of life. Naturally, I expect them to respect our laws. Those who have prospects to stay have the right to visit an integration course, which includes 600 hours of language studies. This should be taken into account," Merkel said in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Germany received more than a million refugees last year.

Merkel told Bild am Sonntag that Germany would not give up a deficit-free budget because of the influx of refugees.

"A budget without any new debts is appropriate for countries with aging population. We seek to achieve this budget for the sake of future generations," the chancellor said.

A balanced and deficit-free budget is one of the key goals of Germany’s incumbent ruling coalition. First, it was adopted in 2015 and then in 2016 despite huge migrant flows. Prior to that, the government passed a deficit-free budget back in 1969.

In her capacity as chancellor, Merkel reiterated many times that the absence of indebtedness was an investment in the future generations. She promised the government would not raise taxes because of the migration crisis.

Merkel criticized the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which is opposed to her migrant policy, for being non-constructive instead of offering solutions for urgent problems.

"AfD is not a party, which unites the society and offers relevant solutions to the current problems; it is sowing prejudices and is splitting [the German public]," Merkel said.

Three German federal lands - Baden Wurttemberg, Saxony Anhalt and Rheinland-Pfalz - will hold elections to local parliaments on March 13. Opinion polls show that Eurosceptics have a good chance to enter regional parliaments for the first time in their history.

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