German Chancellor Angela Merkel was hours away from shutting the southern border to Austria at the start of the refugee crisis before changing her mind last minute, according to a new report.

Merkel opened Germany’s border to thousands of refugees stuck in Hungary with her iconic, “We can do this,” declaration in early September, 2015. She repeated the phrase several times as more than one million refugees arrived over the next year.

Welt am Sonntag now reports Merkel’s grand coalition decided to shut the gates and turn away refugees just a week after declaring the border open.


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