Angela Merkel lays out her case for a fourth term as German chancellor, seeking to energize her conservatives with a call to ban full-face Muslim veils and the promise of a tougher stance on immigration. Mana Rabiee reports.
Angela Merkel's speech to her party congress prompted an 11-minute round of applause. A testament to her popularity among the conservative Christian Democratic Union, as she laid out her case in the rust belt city of Essen for a fourth term as chancellor. Merkel is looking to energize her party. She launched her speech by promising a tougher stance on immigration and saying the Muslim full-face veil doesn't "belong" in Germany. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "In interpersonal communication, which plays a fundamental role here, we show our face. And that's why a full veil is inappropriate in our country. It should be banned wherever legally possible." But for all the applause from supporters, Merkel's overall popularity took a hit last year over the influx of 900,000 migrants. It angered some allies and boosted support for the anti-immigration AfD party, which is expected to win its first seats in the federal parliament next year. Merkel told party delegates that the fight to retain power in next year's ballot, will be more difficult than in any election since German unification nearly three decades ago.