THOUSANDS have lined the streets of Berlin and other towns in Germany to protest against Angela Merkel’s “open door” immigration policy, The Sun reports. The protesters blame the Chancellor for the recent spate of terrorist attacks in the country and across Europe.
A crowd claimed to be as large has 10,000 has gathered outside Berlin’s Washington Square listening to speeches and chanting “Merkel muss weg!” (Merkel must go). The hashtag #MerkelMussWeg was trending on twitter before the event with reaching hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
Germany is still on high alert following the ISIS inspired assaults that have struck the population. The march’s organisers are a coalition of German anti-immigrant groups and began at 3pm local time in Berlin. A poster was shared online ahead of the demonstration depicting Merkel wearing a hijab and another with blood photoshopped on to her hands.
Counter protesters from anti-fascist and left wing groups are also present, standing by the German Chancellor. Merkel has been coming under fire for her immigration policy with a staggering 83 per cent of Germans citing immigration as their nations biggest challenge – double the number who thought that last year.
Germany has been rocked by a raft of attacks in the last month with several perpetrated by migrants. Pakistani teenager Riaz Khan Ahmadzai, 17, posing as an Afghan refugee slashing passengers on a train in Wurzburg, wounding five people with knife and an axe before being shot by police.
A Syrian failed asylum seeker also detonated a suicide bomb in the city of Ansbach after being denied entry to a music festival, fortunately killing no one. Then a refugee, also from Syria, killed a 45-year-old Polish woman with a kebab knife in Reutlinglen.
But Merkel stood by her policy saying that despite the attacks being “oppressive and depressing” but denying her government had lost control. She said: “The fact that two men who came to us as refugees are responsible mocked the country that took them in.
“It mocks the volunteers who have taken so much care of refugees. “And it mocks the many other refugees who truly seek protection from war and violence with us, who want to live peacefully. “Despite the great unease these events inspire, fear can’t be the guide for political decisions.
“It is my deep conviction that we cannot let our way of life be destroyed.” Merkel’s key ally in Bavaria distanced himself again on Saturday from her welcoming policy towards migrants in the wake of a series of brutal attacks in the country.
Horst Seehofer, the conservative premier of Bavaria, said he did not share Merkel’s “We can do it” credo on accommodating the almost 1.1 million migrants and refugees who arrived in 2015. Seehofer, who leads the Christian Social Union, the sister party to Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats, said, “with the best will, I cannot make it mine. The situation is too problematic.”
Speaking after a meeting with the Bavarian government in Tegernsee, he added that the solutions to date were “too inadequate.” Stressing he had no wish to start a quarrel with Merkel’s party, Seehofer said it was important to look “reality” in the face.