Following her humiliating loss in German state elections on Sunday, coming in third place to the anti-immigration, eurosceptic AfD party in her own home state, Chancellor Angela Merkel's support may well decline further. As Reuters reports, the number of migrants claiming German welfare benefits soared by 169 percent last year, data showed on Monday, a figure likely to further boost anti-immigrant groups such as AfD.
It appears the German electorate is none too pleased with Merkel's immigration policy... (as MishTalk's Mike Shedlock explains)
Merkel came in third place, to the anti-immigration, eurosceptic AfD party in her own home state in statewide elections.
Please consider Merkel Suffers Humiliating Election Defeat on Home Turf
Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a humiliating defeat in German regional elections on her home turf on Sunday as voters turned their backs on her liberal refugee policy and gave the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party a political triumph.
A triumphant AfD pushed the chancellor’s centre-right Christian Democrats into third place in the vote in rural Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, with both coming behind the Social Democrats, the region’s dominant political grouping.
“We are writing history in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,” said Leif-Erik Holm, the AfD’s lead candidate. “Perhaps today is the beginning of the end of the chancellorship of Angela Merkel.”
The AfD, formed only in 2013, took 20.8 per cent of the vote for the state legislature in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It took support from other parties and brought out non-voters, helping to raise the turnout from 51.5 per cent to 61 per cent.
The CDU, meanwhile, fell from 23 per cent in 2011 to 19 per cent, their worst result yet in the state.
The AfD is now represented in nine of Germany’s 16 regions and is developing momentum for future regional polls, including in Berlin later this month, and for Bundestag elections in autumn 2017. Scoring around 12 per cent in national opinion polls, it is widely expected to be Germany’s first rightwing party to enter the national parliament since 1945.
Irony of the Day
Peter Tauber, CDU general secretary, blamed the “bitter” result on widespread public “discontent and protest” at Ms Merkel’s refugee policy. A CDU official said the party would examine the result and hit back at the AfD’s “simple, stupid slogans”.
Simple Stupid Slogans
To find “simple stupid slogans” one need look no further that Merkel’s open arms welcome of refugees accompanied by her often repeated phrase “We can do this”.
“Simple, stupid slogans” indeed.
And in what is likely to further boost anti-immigrant groups such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD), Reuters reports that the number of migrants claiming German welfare benefits soared by 169 percent last year, data showed on Monday...
Around 975,000 migrants were receiving benefits in accordance with the Act on Benefits for Asylum Seekers at the end of 2015, the Federal Statistics Office said. That marked the sixth consecutive yearly rise and compared with 363,000 in 2014.
The leap followed Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision a year ago to open Germany's door to refugees fleeing war in Syria and elsewhere. Germany took in more than one million people, though the inflow has fallen sharply in recent months due to tighter European border controls and a repatriation deal with Turkey.
Monday's data include migrants with temporary residence permits and those who cannot be deported for the time being. They do not include those with refugee status or those entitled to asylum, who receive social benefits if they need help.
While many Germans gave migrants a warm welcome when they started arriving in droves last summer, that has partly given way to fear after three recent violent attacks on civilians carried out by migrants and to concerns about integration.
State spending on benefits for migrants climbed by around 120 percent in 2015 to almost 5.3 billion euros, the data showed.
The scale of state aid for migrants has angered many Germans, particularly in the poorer eastern regions, but on Saturday Merkel stressed the government had not slashed benefits for anyone in order to provide for refugees.
Which strongly suggests Merkel's humiliation is not complete yet.