40% of Germans want Merkel to resign over refugee policy

A poll shows 45.2 percent believe Merkel's refugee policy was not a reason for her to resign.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on 30 June 2015. Picture: AFP.

BERLIN - Forty percent of Germans want Chancellor Angela Merkel to resign due to her refugee policy, which saw the country take in 1.1 million asylum seekers last year, an Insa poll for Focus magazine showed on Friday.

The poll of 2,047 Germans, which Insa conducted from 22-25 January, showed 45.2 percent believed Merkel's refugee policy was not a reason for her to resign.

MERKEL ALLIES STEP UP PRESSURE OVER WELCOMING REFUGEE POLICY

A prominent ally of Merkel threatened on Saturday to take her government to court over its "open doors" refugee policy as political pressure grows for the chancellor to reduce the number of new arrivals.

Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer said he would send the federal government a written request within the next two weeks to restore "orderly conditions" at the nation's borders, through which one million migrants and refugees passed last year alone.

"If it doesn't follow, the state government will have no other choice but to file a suit at the federal constitutional court," Seehofer told Der Spiegel magazine.

Seehofer has issued a series of ultimatums to Merkel in recent months to press her into taking immediate action to limit the influx of migrants, only to back down at the last minute.

His comments reflect increasing doubt among Germans about Merkel's "we can do this" mantra in the face of Europe's biggest migrant crisis since World War Two, especially since sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year's Eve were blamed on migrants.

Merkel's popularity has dropped following the assaults, a poll showed on Friday.

Bavaria, a conservative state that borders Austria to the south, is the home of Seehofer's Christian Social Union (CSU), sister party to Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and is the main entry point for migrants and refugees.

The state's finance minister, Markus Soeder, told Der Spiegel Merkel's refugee policy was not democratically legitimised and said parliament should vote on the matter.

Senior figures from the Social Democrats (SPD), Merkel's second coalition partner, have also broken ranks in recent days by challenging her welcoming approach to asylum seekers.