The establishment parties in Germany are bracing themselves for what is expected to be a major breakthrough by the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party this coming Sunday in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Polls indicate that the AfD might come first, defeating both Angela Merkel’s ruling CDU party and her socialist party coalition partners, the SPD.
The AfD has used the Third World invasion crisis to woo disaffected voters and makes it very clear who it thinks is responsible for the country’s problems: Merkel.
“The refugee crisis has helped us, there’s little question about that,” Leif-Erik Holm, the AfD’s lead candidate in the regional election, said.
The CDU and SPD are still hoping to maintain their rule in the state, but are wary of the previous state election in March in Saxony-Anhalt, where the AfD won 24 percent. It finished second in that ballot and hopes to go one further this time.
Whatever happens, the AfD will almost certainly enter its ninth state parliament out of 16. Number 10 will likely follow two weeks later when voters go to the polls in Berlin.
The changing face of German politics was on display when Merkel traveled to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in mid-August to meet with farmers, traditionally staunch supporters of her conservatives.
The chancellor was well prepared, telling farmers she would support their use of the weed killer glyphosate, answering questions about security regulations, and describing in great detail how impressed she was by a combine harvester in front of the farm.
However, as soon as it came to question time, only one theme came to the fore.
“I’m not just a farmer, I am also a worried citizen,” one man told Merkel. “Please use your power so that our children will have a safe future.”
At a campaign event in Schwerin a day later, Björn Höcke, one of the AfD’s regional leaders, spoke in the main square. The former teacher was asked to give his opinions on education, but went much further, being cheered for comments such as “I would like to live in a democratic state based on the rule of law. This is why I say ‘No’ to a multicultural society,” and “we can’t take this unbearable dictator of a chancellor anymore.”
“First, it was the Euro-Retterei, the [flawed] rescue of the euro, then it was the energy transformation with Merkel overtaking even the Green Party, and then—which marks the low point—the refugee crisis, which caused a fear among people about what else might come,” he said. “Those crises were managed poorly, and there was no conservative alternative [to the ruling parties.]”
At the AfD campaign event in Schwerin, there were protesters holding up signs against the “lying press” and the “warmonger United States.”
An architect from Hamburg, who refused to give his name, said he was there to complain about what he called the “step-by-step Islamization” of Germany. One woman said she wanted to protest against “gender mainstreaming,” such as schoolchildren being taught about homosexuality. All agreed that the Merkel invasion policy had to stop.
The event ended with the crowd chanting, “Merkel muss weg” (Merkel has to go).
For a decade, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has been governed by a “grand coalition” of the SPD and CDU. The AfD claims there is no longer a difference between the two big beasts, thanks to Merkel’s “social democratization” of her party as she opened the doors to refugees from Syria and the wider Middle East. “We basically replace the old CDU, because Ms. Merkel moved it too far to the left,” Holm said, echoing comments from the national party leadership.
At the last state elections, in 2011, the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) won 6 percent of the votes and took seats in the state parliament.
If the AfD becomes the strongest party in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the other parties will almost certainly club together to block it. But the effect will still be huge.
“If we end up becoming the strongest party in the parliament, this will have an enormous effect [on the national stage],” the AfD’s Leif-Erik Holm said. “There also seems to be pressure now [on Merkel] to move further toward our direction—the question is if she wants to do that.”
Merkel: EU “Must take Muslims”
The refusal of some European Union countries to accept Muslim refugees is “unacceptable” and all of them must take in Muslims, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced.
Merkel also announced new plans for quotas to divide the nonwhite invaders throughout the EU bloc.
“That’s not right at all that some countries say: ‘generally speaking, we don’t want to have Muslims in our countries,’” Merkel told German public television channel ARD.
She also announced a new “quota system” for taking in the invaders, and said that “everyone must do their part,” and that “a common solution must be found.”
Speaking at an “Open Day” at her Chancellery in Berlin last Sunday, Merkel said that all EU Member States had to agree to the “refugee distribution program”—and that no one can be allowed to opt out.
In contrast to this position, Hungary and some Visegrad countries (Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia) seek to either have no “refugees,” or to get the EU to provide border guards for other EU countries on the border frontlines.
The Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten reported that Merkel was presented with these demands at her recent meeting with representatives from Visegrad nations in Warsaw.
In March this year, Slovak President Robert Fico vowed that he would “never bring even a single Muslim” into his country.
Fico said that jihadists “masquerading as refugees” could infiltrate the European Union, and has said his government would be “monitoring every Muslim.”
Last week, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said, “We don’t have a large Muslim community here, and, to be honest, we don’t want a large Muslim community to form here, given the problems we’re seeing [in the rest of Europe].”
Speaking to the Pravo newspaper, Sobotka said that his views “diverged” from Merkel’s on the topic.
“It’s not possible to have the same approach as Germany last year, namely to authorize the influx of a huge number of people without any oversight,” he said.
Last month, Czech President Milos Zeman said he opposed taking in any migrants at all and described Merkel’s policy as “absurd.”
Merkel’s demand that all the EU Member States absorb Muslims puts her therefore completely at odds with the Eastern European nations.
The two sides are set for a showdown next month, when an EU summit takes place on the topic.
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