Alternative for Deutschland, an anti-immigration party taking Germany by storm has hammered home the failure of Angela Merkel and the European elite in convincing Europeans that they should accept mass immigration from the third world by beating Merkel’s party in her home region of Mekclenburg-West Pomerania, as well as two other regions in local elections. The BBC’s Jenny Hill writes:
This is humiliating for Angela Merkel – not least because this was on home turf. Mrs Merkel’s constituency is in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.
This election – which was seen as a significant test ahead of next year’s general election – was all about her refugee policy. For a year she’s insisted ‘Wir schaffen es’ (we can do it) but German voters aren’t convinced.
Alternative fuer Deutschland’s anti immigrant and increasingly strident anti-Islam message has a powerful appeal to people concerned about integration and worried about domestic security.
It doesn’t look good for Mrs Merkel. Her approval ratings are at a five-year low. But don’t be tempted to write her off just yet – she has a habit of bouncing back and there is no serious contender waiting in the wings to replace her.
Under her leadership, Germany has been taking in large numbers of refugees and migrants – 1.1 million last year – and anti-immigrant feeling has increased.
The AfD, initially an anti-euro party, has enjoyed a rapid rise as the party of choice for voters dismayed by Mrs Merkel’s policy.