Tuesday 21 November 2017

'We are no Nazis' - AfD taps into refugee issue

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Swept into parliament by those Germans angered at the arrival of more than a million refugees and migrants, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) delivered a stark message for Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"We will hound her. We'll get our country and our people back," Alexander Gauland (76), one of the party's two leading candidates, told supporters to wild applause at a post-election celebration in Berlin.

The first far-right party to enter Germany's parliament in more than half a century, the AfD - which has been likened by Germany's own foreign minister to the Nazis - won around 13pc of the vote, making it the third biggest party in the new parliament after Ms Merkel's conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats, both of whom saw their share of the vote fall amid the AfD surge.

The party did well in the former communist eastern part of the country, where it won 22.9pc of the vote - in the west it won 11.3pc. Although parties refuse to work with the AfD, its 94 parliamentary seats mean it will now have a voice in the lower house of Europe's richest country and become eligible for funding tied to the size of its vote.

It rejects comparison to the Nazis, insisting it raises valid concerns about immigration and what it calls the "Islamisation" of the West which are not being addressed by mainstream politicians.

Irish Independent

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