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AfD surges as pressure mounts for Merkel to resign

The German Chancellor is facing a coup from within her own party following fierce backlash to her failed open border policy.

Published: December 24, 2016, 9:27 am

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    Pressure is mounting on Angela Merkel to resign because of her ill-conceived and welcoming migrant policy, with her critics saying her time in power is “finished”.

    The Alternative for Germany, AfD’s Chairwoman Frauke Petry said members of Merkel’s own party were already talking about the end of her time as Chancellor.

    “The state has failed,” Karsten Woldeit, a lawmaker for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany in Berlin’s state legislature, said after a hearing on the attack on Friday. “It’s almost as though the coordinated protection of the citizenry is politically undesirable.”

    On Wednesday, another senior German politician has blamed the Christmas terror attacks on ‘institutional political correctness’, arguing that the suspect – a known ISIS fanatic actually on a deportation list – would not have been free to act if police had enforced the law.

    Hugh Theodore Bronson, the deputy leader of the AfD, said that German deportation law was ignored because the authorities were afraid of offending Muslims.

    The suspect, Anis Amri, 24, who was being monitored by police, would have been deported long ago if it wasn’t for a liberal “ideological agenda”, he told MailOnline. “The law as it stands is not being implemented,” he said. “If it was, 12 people would still be alive, 48 people would not be in hospital, and there would have been no attack on Monday.

    “We are being too lenient in our implementation of the law. You can call it political correctness, you can call it an ideological agenda, but it cost 12 people their lives.”

    Support meanwhile for Germany’s anti-migration AfD party soared to a one-year high of more than 15 percent in the wake of the Berlin jihadist attack.

    The AfD has now recorded a 2.5-point boost to 15.5 percent compared to last week, according to the survey for the Bild newspaper by the Insa institute released on Saturday.

    In the immediate aftermath of the Berlin attack, the AfD blamed Merkel’s liberal border policy, under which more than one million asylum seekers entered the country since 2015, for posing a serious security threat to the country.

    Hundreds have taken to social media to demand Merkel’s resignation for her “failure to confront the mistakes of her migration policy”. FWM contributor and chairman of the AfD party in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Marcus Pretzell, posted on Twitter: “These are Merkel’s dead.”

    Nationalist politics have been socially tarnished in Germany. The major “conservative” party in Germany is Merkel’s CDU, which can hardly be considered conservative by global standards.

    With a general election expected next September, the AfD is Germany’s most popular nationalist party since World War II.

    Daniel Hamilton, executive director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, said the attack will heap pressure on Merkel.

    Speaking with Bloomberg Politics, he said: “Germany hasn’t had an attack like this that’s killed a lot of people in a long time, so clearly there will be pressure on her.

    “But there will also be a sense that Europeans are in this together, that it’s a common threat.”

    In a radio interview, Klaus Bouillon of Merkel’s CDU party said that Germany was in a “state of war”.

    “We must state that we are in a state of war, although some people who want to see only the good can not see,” he told Saarland radio.

    Dutch anti-immigration leader Geert Wilders tweeted a photo of Merkel with blood on her hands hours after the Berlin attack. He has previously hit out at “cowardly” EU leaders over a “tsunami” of jihadist attacks across the continent.

    Similar incidents were reported in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, and Bielefeld.

    karin@praag.org

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