Merkel Exit Deprives German Far Right Of Scapegoat
Sumaira FH 1 month ago Wed 22nd September 2021 | 12:19 PM
"Merkel must go" was a common refrain at anti-migration demos in the run-up to Germany's last election in 2017, helping to propel the far-right AfD into parliament as the largest opposition force
Berlin, Sept 22 (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 22nd Sep, 2021 ) :"Merkel must go" was a common refrain at anti-migration demos in the run-up to Germany's last election in 2017, helping to propel the far-right AfD into parliament as the largest opposition force.
Though it appears to have lost support since 2017, currently polling at around 11 percent, the party -- whose initials stand for "Alternative for Germany" -- has become firmly rooted in the country's political landscape.
But now, with "Merkel must go" redundant, the anti-immigration, anti-establishment party is having to direct its anger elsewhere.
"But the consequences of the Merkel era will weigh on Germany for a long time," he said.
The AfD blames Merkel for "mass illegal immigration" after her 2015 decision to leave Germany's borders open to refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq, for the "expensive" phasing out of nuclear power and for "endless financial bailouts" of southern European countries.
- Anti-establishment - The slogan "Merkel must go" was "more a slogan against the system than against the person and will be transferrable to something more abstract", agrees Miro Dittrich, a specialist at the far-right observatory CeMAS.
"Germany will continue to be slammed as a dictatorship and Scholz and Laschet as representatives of the Merkel system. And if Baerbock becomes chancellor, the hatred of some people may boil over," he adds.
Beyond personalities, the AfD will also have to rethink its focus on migration. According to a recent poll by the Bild daily, only 20 percent of Germans consider migration a priority, well behind climate protection (35 percent) or pensions (33 percent).
To add to its problems, the AfD has also been plagued by internal disputes between its more radical fringe and supporters of a more moderate course.