Migration through the Mediterranean : which European responses ?
Subscribe nowReceive every three months the new issue of European Insights in your mailbox Subscribe
Germany: Events in Chemnitz have led to a resurgence in anti-migrant sentiment
The murder of a German in the streets of Chemnitz on the 26th of August led to the arrest of a Syrian and an Iraqi, spurring extreme-right groups to amplify their anti-migrant message.
The anti-immigrant and anti-Islam movement, Pegida, and the extreme right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD), took advantage of the event to stage a rally in the town of Chemnitz. More than four thousand people took to the streets, brandishing slogans such as “Foreigners out”, “This is our town” and “We are the people”. Several attacks were reported against migrants, left-wing counter-demonstrators and police.
The German government spoke of “man-hunts” against migrants, a term used widely by domestic and international media but contested by extreme-right militants. The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, denied the existence of any such events, saying that “his agency did not have enough evidence to confirm the actual existence of any man-hunts”. In response, Angela Merkel stripped him of his post on the 18th of September.
These events have only served to aggravate the tensions within the government. The Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer, declared that “the migration question is at the heart of all the problems in this country”.
This article was originally published in September in the “Veille Europe” of France terre d’asile, available in French HERE.