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Why Angela Merkel Canceled Her Trip to Davos This Year

January 11, 2016, 8:07 PM UTC
German Christian Democrats (CDU) Hold Annual Party Congress
COLOGNE, GERMANY - DECEMBER 09: German Chancellor and Chairwoman of the German Christian Democrats (CDU) Angela Merkel arrives to open the annual CDU party congress on December 9, 2014 in Cologne, Germany. The CDU is the senior partner in Germany's ruling government coalition. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Photograph by Sean Gallup—Getty Images

One important dignitary will be absent from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland when it starts next week.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has canceled her annual trip to the global leaders’ summit, according to the Financial Times.

Merkel decided to skip Davos as her friendly migrant policy comes under increased fire in the wake of mass sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve. Of the 32 people suspected of crimes so far, 22 are asylum seekers.

Merkel has stood apart from other European leaders—and even won recognition as Time‘s 2015 Person of the Year—for her welcoming stance toward migrants and refugees who are fleeing war and Islamic extremists in areas such as Syria. The German government estimates that more than 1 million refugees entered the country last year.

The Cologne police chief stepped down on Friday due to claims that his department mishandled the attacks, and now Merkel has become the target of criticism. The country’s far-right Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West or PEGIDA movement blasted her open-door policy and called for her resignation during demonstrations in Cologne on Saturday.


The attacks have prompted Merkel to harden her stance toward migrants. Before the protests in Cologne on Saturday, she vowed to expel criminal and reduce the number of migrants to Germany over the long term.