It’s oft said here that Europe needed one event to take an extreme right turn. As the refugee crisis seems to be unfolding, it looks like we’ve found the event. Chancellor Merkel has changed the landscape of Europe forever and this move will likely serve as the catalyst for the breakup of the EU as we know it today. However, in the pipeline, is still a United States of Europe which will be a leftover group with those seeking further integration with one another. Germany’s leadership knows what it’s doing and time will reveal why it proactively created a firestorm.
With the nation taking in huge numbers of asylum seekers, PEGIDA and other movements are seeing a resurgence
BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — Almost declared dead only months ago, Germany’s populist far-right is seeking a comeback amid a record wave of asylum -seekers, hoping to anchor itself in mainstream politics.
As Chancellor Angela Merkel has opened the doors to unprecedented numbers of refugees, she initially earned popular support but also quickly faced xenophobic hecklers who angrily branded her a “traitor” and worse.
Anti-foreigner fury has flared most visibly at rallies of the resurgent PEGIDA movement, short for “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident.”
“Merkel is guilty, commits ethnocide against the German people,” read a banner at last week’s protest in Dresden, Saxony state, in the former communist East where PEGIDA emerged one year ago next week.
Waving flags, the agitated crowd of about 9,000 cheered co-founder Lutz Bachmann, 42, who was charged recently with inciting racial hatred by labeling migrants “animals”, “trash” and “filthy rabble” on social media.
Also hoping for a revival is the populist-nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD), once a mainly anti-euro fringe party that has shifted to the right after an internal split.
Its current leader Frauke Petry, from Saxony, called Friday for an “immediate stop” to the flow of asylum seekers into the country while her party announced it would file a criminal complaint of “human trafficking” against Merkel.
As Merkel’s poll ratings have been dented by her open-border policy, the AfD has risen to 7% — above the 5% needed to enter national parliament.
And it scored 9% in southern Bavaria, Germany’s main gateway for migrants whose numbers are expected to reach one million this year.
The AfD is now “a textbook example of right-wing populism,” including in its resistance to multiculturalism, said Timo Lochocki of think-tank the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
“The AfD is especially strong in Saxony where the local conservative government for too long failed to speak out against right-wing extremists and the unleashing of resentment,” Funke said.
“In the shadow of PEGIDA we have seen a doubling of acts against asylum homes and attacks against refugees.”
Full article: Germany’s far-right makes gains amid refugee wave (The Times of Israel)