by William T. Hathaway / May 13th, 2018
Since parliamentary democracy was restored in Germany after World War Two, several right-wing parties have sought to get the required 5% of the popular vote to be represented in parliament. They all failed until 2017. In that election a new right-wing party, Alternatives for Deutschland (AfD), won 13% of the vote, making them the third most powerful party, ahead of the Greens, the Lefts, and the Liberals. They also won many seats in the individual state parliaments and one seat in the European Parliament.
Exit polls showed, though, that most people who voted for them weren’t convinced by their overall program but only by one aspect of it: their strong opposition to the government’s permissive refugee policy.
Germany has taken in over two million refugees from the Mideast wars, far more than any other country. The equivalent for the US population would be eight million refugees, double the number of people in Los Angeles.
This has created an enormous financial and cultural strain in a country that historically has had little immigration. It comes at a time when poverty is increasing and social services are being reduced. The once-generous welfare state is being dismantled. This financial squeeze is worsening now because of expenses for the refugees. The two million newcomers receive enough money to live on plus free healthcare, education, and access to special programs. Some cheat on this, registering in several places…