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Posters for Putin; Merkel

Posters pop up in Berlin ahead of German election to vote for Putin

With only four days to go the German parliamentary election, some thought-provoking posters have popped up in the center of Berlin, just a stone's throw from the parliament building, the Reichstag.

Published: September 22, 2017, 9:46 am

    Berlin

    Together with a photo of the Russian President Vladimir Putin set against the colours of a German flag, the text underneath reads “Vote Putin for Chancellor”.

    The posters highlight on the huge gap between the German government’s tough stance on Russia and a favourable public opinion towards Russia.

    According to an opinion poll by Forsa, the German Institute for Social Research and Statistical Analysis, the majority of the Germans are against sanctions imposed by the US on Russia.

    Some 83 percent of the respondents expressed their opposition to the controversial vote in the US Congress, German magazine Zuerst reported.

    Moreover, more than three-quarters of the respondents questioned about sanctions believe the US was only trying to strengthen its geostrategic position by voting for sanctions.

    Forsa asked participants whether their level of confidence in Putin was lower, higher or equal to their confidence in German chancellor Angela Merkel.

    Some 31 percent of the supporters of the left-wing die Linke party said they had more confidence in the Russian state, while 30 percent of Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) supporters expressed the same opinion.

    Although the AfD is shunned as a “radical fringe” group by mainstream parties, its rise fragments the political landscape to complicate coalition-building efforts by the likely election winner, Merkel.

    The party wants to “return power to citizens”, including through Swiss-style referendums, and similar to other European protest parties, it advocates closer ties with Russia. With such policies, the AfD has taken votes away from Merkel.

    The Independent noted that at outdoor rallies in town squares, Merkel was repeatedly hissed and booed when she defended her decisions to open borders, especially when she spoke in the former East.

    A poll conducted in August by the International Republican Institute found that more than half of Germans named terrorism, refugee policy, extremism as a result of immigration as the “worst problem” facing Europe. And only one political party is consistently focused on these issues: the AfD.

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