Excerpt:

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said in an interview on Saturday that Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives had "underestimated" the challenge of integrating record numbers of migrants.

Gabriel leads the Social Democrats (SPD) -- the junior coalition partner in Merkel's government -- and his comments come as campaigning kicks off for a federal election next year and regional elections in Berlin and the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants arrived in Germany from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere last year. There is widespread concern about how to integrate them into German society and the labor market, and support for the anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD) has grown.


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