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As hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East stream across Europe headed toward Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “open door” policy is questioned, the country is facing the threat of civil war.

On Friday, the interior minister of the government, Thomas de Maiziére announced changes to that policy that would limit the rights of refugees, provide only temporary asylum for one year and prohibit refugees from sending for family members.

Merkel’s office issued a statement refuting the claims, throwing the official policy of the German government into disarray.

More than a half-million migrants have entered Germany since the beginning of 2015 and with as many as 10,000 arriving each day, at least 300,000 more are expected by the end of the year. It is the largest influx of refugees since the end of World War II in 1945.

German cities have been forced to use public facilities like schools and parks to provide shelter and services for the migrants and the clash of religion and culture has resulted in violent confrontations between native Germans and immigrants.

Unlike the United States, which has long been a “melting pot,” Germany has little experience dealing with migrants, especially those who do not seem anxious to assimilate into the German culture.

And now a leader in the Alternative for Germany political party, Hansjoerg Mueller, has gone on the record saying Merkel’s policy is pushing the country toward civil war.

Although the German people welcomed the refugees in the early days of the crisis, the sheer numbers of newcomers and their open disrespect of the host country have resulted in violent confrontations throughout the country.

Mueller has said that Germany is devolving into “anarchy that will make it a banana republic without a government.”

Increasing concerns have driven Merkel’s poll numbers down while drawing new members to groups dedicated to stopping the influx of refugees, such as the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA).

Street demonstrations have seen Germans marching with signs depicting Merkel in a burqa and a Nazi uniform.

Protesters have staged demonstrations throughout the country prompting police intervention, the use of tear gas, and mass arrests.

 

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