Angela Merkel has been criticised over her awkward treatment of a young refugee girl brought to tears by the German chancellor’s comments on asylum.
A video of the encounter on Wednesday afternoon showed the Palestinian girl telling Ms Merkel that her family has been waiting four years for permanent leave to remain in Germany.
Ms Merkel tells the teenager she is “an incredibly likeable person”, but Germany cannot accommodate all migrants – “some will have to go home,” and the government can only promise to speed up decisions.
As the girl burst into tears, Ms Merkel walks over to comfort her, saying she wants to “give her a pat”.
Katrin Goering-Eckardt, a senior politician with the opposition Green party, tweeted that “the mistakes in the government’s refugee policies can’t be patted away”.