Merkel aide: We'll do everything to conclude USA trade deal

"And the positive thing is that German businesses also want to contribute and the German football league wants to organise a (fund-raising) match", she said.

Ms Merkel said with the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung that her mantra - which she has used repeatedly since coining it on August 31 past year and which has divided opinion in Germany - remains "the right motif for this task".

Chancellor Merkel's stance on mass migration might have made her the poster girl of many Hollywood celebrities and the liberals worldwide, but have alienated the loyal base of her conservative Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and its Bavarian sister-Party CSU.

It was a "traumatic experience" for her, said Hajo Funke of Berlin's Free University.

As thousands became stranded at eastern European borders, Mrs Merkel and Austria's then-chancellor chose to open them up, after insisting "we can do this".

Mrs Merkel has stood by the comments and has angered her opponents by constantly repeating it, insisting this week: "I'm convinced it was the right phrase". One year on, Germany has taken in more than 1.3?million asylum seekers, but the numbers have fallen drastically in recent months.

Critics have said her stance only encourages migrants to make the risky journey to reach northern Europe.

The leaders of Germany and Italy on Wednesday called for more repatriations of migrants who didn't qualify for asylum. "We can't take this unbearable dictator of a Chancellor any more". Merkel said it was up to Renzi to come up with a transparent proposal. "Whichever way you look at it, the consequences are dramatic for Europe".

The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, was quick to slam the "invitation" and accuse Germany of "moral imperialism" as hundreds of thousands of migrants began to flood into his nation. A devastating defeat, like the one being predicted by the pollsters, could finally put an end to her ambitions. On Sunday, the voters in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which includes Chancellor Merkel's home constituency of Rügen, will be electing a new state assembly.

Next year Merkel, who has been in power for 11 years, faces federal elections.

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