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The Boston Globe

World

Immigrants key to future, Merkel says

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Germans Tuesday to sweep away decades of reticence and face up to ‘‘some hard truths’’ in accepting policy changes from immigration to education needed to keep Europe’s biggest economy competitive.

Germany will fall behind in global economic competition if it fails to address its shrinking population, Merkel told a government-backed conference on the country’s demographic challenges, promoting a signature project she says she will pursue if she wins a third term in federal elections on Sept. 22.

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