Excerpt:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose conservative party faces possible defeat in an election in her home state on Sunday, rejected charges by anti-immigrant critics that her government was spending less on Germans due to a large influx of refugees.

In an interview published in Saturday's edition of Bild newspaper, Merkel also strongly defended her decision, one year ago this weekend, to open the door to hundreds of thousands of refugees mostly fleeing conflicts in the Middle East.

"We did not reduce benefits for anyone in Germany as a result of the aid for refugees. In fact, we actually saw social improvements in some areas," Merkel said.


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