Following a devastating defeat in Berlin state elections today, Mrs Merkel said she accepted her share of responsibility for voters punishing her ruling Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) party for her refugee-friendly migrant policy.
Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, she said: “If I could, I would turn back the time by many, many years.”
The German premier admitted she could have been better prepared for the influx of migrants last year.
She added if she knew how people wanted her to change her migrant policy she would consider it.
And she admitted Germany had not been “world champions” in integrating migrants in the past, saying it would take time to integrate them.
Monday’s defeat is the second in two weeks, with the Chancellor being defeated in her own constituency in the state of Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania.
Attacks by migrants and clashes with Germans have plagued the country over the past year as they struggle to cope with the numbers unprecedented in modern times.
Sounding particularly conciliatory, Mrs Merkel added that if the wish of the German people was for the country not to be swamped with uncontrolled and unregulated migration “then that is exactly what I am fighting for”.
Right-wing party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), made big gains during the weekend’s state elections as Germans reacted to Mrs Merkel’s policy.
The German Chancellor said her party needed to reach out to AfD supporters and she is still motivated to lead the country