Germany’s Scholz condemns far-right AfD’s plans to mass deport immigrants

Europe
Thu, 1 Feb 2024 7:49 GMT
AfD’s remigration plans ‘remind us of darkest era’ in German history, Scholz says, referring to Nazis' crimes against humanity.
Germany’s Scholz condemns far-right AfD’s plans to mass deport immigrants

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday condemned the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party for secretly drawing up plans for the mass expulsion of immigrants.

"When conferences are held in our country to discuss how a part of our population can be expelled, the so-called remigration, this reminds us of the darkest era in German history,” Scholz said, referring to Nazis' crimes against humanity.

In his address to the German parliament, the chancellor called on the democratic parties to take a united stance against the anti-immigrant agenda of the AfD and defend the democratic values.

“With a view to our history, we have a task ahead of us in Germany. As democrats, we can demonstrate that we can stop this, and we can do it together,” Scholz said in remarks directed at the main opposition party, the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU).

The Social Democrat chancellor thanked citizens who have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest the far-right AfD and its plans. He also tried to ease the concerns of immigrant communities.

“I think we all need to make a very clear commitment on this occasion: We stand with our fellow countrymen, they have nothing to fear," Scholz stressed.

The AfD’s anti-migrant stance, and recent reports on their secret plans for the mass deportation of migrants, sparked nationwide protests in recent weeks, which have drawn hundreds of thousands of people to the streets.

During his speech, Scholz also criticized the AfD for suggesting a referendum on Germany’s exit from the EU, which party officials referred to as “Dexit," analogous to the British exit, "Brexit.”

“Now, all of a sudden, a word like Dexit comes up. That would be the biggest destruction of prosperity that could happen to us,” Scholz warned and said that the EU membership generates substantial economic benefits for Germany.

Earlier this month, AfD’s co-leader Alice Weidel said that they would like to hold a referendum on Germany’s EU membership if the sovereignty of national parliaments is not strengthened against the powers of the EU’s unelected institutions.

Ahead of the European Parliament elections in June, support for the AfD is growing in Germany, as many voters have expressed frustration with the government due to the cost-of-living crisis and higher energy prices.

A poll published by Forsa Institute on Tuesday found that 19% of voters would give their vote to the far-right AfD, making it the second-strongest party behind the conservative CDU/CSU bloc (32%)

Chancellor Scholz’s Social Democrat Party (SPD) was at 15% in the latest poll, while their coalition partner, the Greens, was seen at 14%. The junior coalition partner, the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), was at 3%.

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