BERLIN (Reuters) - A Ghanaian refugee who has been granted asylum in Germany named her newborn daughter after Chancellor Angela Merkel in gratitude for being allowed to stay in the country.
Ophelya Ade, 26, who comes from a small town near the Ghanaian capital Accra, called the child Angela Merkel Ade, the registry office in Hanover said.
Nadine Heese, a spokeswoman for Germany’s Red Cross which runs the shelter where Ade lives, told Reuters that Ade wanted to express her gratitude toward Merkel, who she considers to be a “great woman”.
The child was born in the central German city on Feb. 2, but German news media only reported it this week.
In July, Merkel was confronted by a young Palestinian girl on a television show who politely explained her family might be sent back to Lebanon after four years in Germany. After the girl started crying, Merkel stroked her back but told her that Germany could not admit everyone who wanted to live there.
That family has not yet been deported.
Germany approved Ade’s application for asylum earlier this year and issued her with a three-year residency permit.
Record numbers of migrants are arriving in western Europe, many fleeing the war in Syria and other conflicts or poverty, straining EU countries’ ability to cope.
Germany processed nearly 160,000 asylum applications in the first half of 2015, and expects more than 450,000 migrants to arrive this year, a record. The European Union last month failed to agree on how to share out 40,000 asylum seekers recently arrived in Greece and Italy.
Reporting by Tina Bellon; Editing by Robin Pomeroy