Latest unrest further undermines Chancellor Merkel ahead of next year’s General Elections
Just days after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party suffered a humiliating defeat in the Berlin state election, violent clashes between migrants and locals erupted in several German cities. On Sunday, Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) got a drubbing in Germany’s capital, with CDU’s historic poor showing at the state elections. Right-wing party opposed to Mass-Migration, Alternative for Germany (AfD) outperformed the election forecasts securing 14 percent. AfD, only founded in 2013, is now in 10 state parliaments thanks to Chancellor Merkel’s disastrous handling of migrant crisis.
The first clashes erupted in the eastern German city of Bautzen, where apparently drunk migrants threw bottles at police and other locals. Authorities were forced to restrict the movement of the refugees and impose a ban on alcohol. The restriction aimed at young migrants caused an uproar among liberal politicians and media commentators who accused the local police and the mayor — a leftist himself — of ‘acting in a racist way’ against ‘traumatised young migrants.’ Leading German weekly Der Spiegel reported the temporary imposition of restriction on refugees in the city with the headline titled “Victory for the racists.”
Similar incidents are being reported in other German towns as well. The breakdown of law and order situation further undermines Chancellor Merkel’s position who has vowed to stay the course on her generous migration policy despite latest electoral drubbings.
Dresden-based newspaper Sächsische Zeitung was one of the few German media outlets that reported these clashes:
After clashes between young refugees and locals belonging to right-wing scene in [the East German city of] Bautzen, there were similar clashes in Hoyerswerda on Sunday. (…) Police dispatched officers deployed in Bautzen over to Hoyerswerda. “The officers separated the conflicting camps and calmed down the tempers with their presence”, so it was reported. The identities of the ring-leaders were registered and thereafter the refugees returned back to their housing. Where the anger [of the refugees] was redirected at to the 44 year-old security guard. He remained unhurt.
Even in Radeberg there was an incident. Here the police is investigating an aggravated battery that reportedly took place on Friday in railway station compound. [Author’s translation]
Merkel, on her part, still thinks that her party’s defeat in one state election after another is merely a PR problem. “If one of the reasons for the bad performance of the CDU is that the direction, aim and the underlying conviction of our refugee policy were not sufficiently explained to some people, I would like to put more effort into this,” she told reporters Monday.
Once the most powerful politician in Europe, Merkel is turning into a political pariah. Even liberal European leaders, eager to win elections at home, are distancing themselves from Merkel and her failed migrant policy.
Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May rejected the notion of “uncontrolled migration.” Politico reports:
Speaking before the U.N. General Assembly in New York, May said: “I think that uncontrolled migration is not in the interests of the migrants themselves, it’s not in the interests of refugees — who may find that they see less support as a result — it’s not in the interests of the countries that people are coming from, traveling through or trying to get to.”
However, the sharpest and the most direct attack came from Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi who accused Merkel of ‘lying to the public about European unity.’ Sunday, Italian Prime Minister Renzi did not join German Chencllor and French President Hollande at the news conference in EU Summit’s closing statement in the city of Bratislava.
Merkel’s uncompromising stance on migrant issue has not only isolated her country within Europe and destroyed the conservative based of the once-mighty Christian Democratic Party, but also mobilized neo-Nazi groups that hitherto lurked on the drank fringes of German society. Months of hated political debates are now giving way to violent street clashes in Germany.
Will today’s clashes turn into tomorrow’s civil strife? Are these signs of things to come?
Only time will tell. But as armed thugs roam German streets, it should unnerve even those who have a vague sense of history.
Video: Chancellor Merkel party suffers drubbing in Sunday’s Berlin state election:
[Cover Image courtesy DW, YouTube]DONATE
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