Merkel greeted with shouts of ‘get out’

The Myanmar Times - - World -

CHAN­CEL­LOR An­gela Merkel was greeted by whis­tles and shouts of “get out” on ar­riv­ing in Dres­den – birth­place of xeno­pho­bic move­ment Pegida – for Ger­man re­uni­fi­ca­tion cel­e­bra­tions.

The an­gry crowd in the east Ger­man city also waved signs say­ing “Merkel must go”.

The Ger­man leader has been un­der pres­sure over her lib­eral refugee pol­icy that saw an in­flux of 1 mil­lion mi­grants last year.

Dres­den is host­ing cel­e­bra­tions to mark 26 years since the re­uni­fi­ca­tion of East and West Ger­many, with Ms Merkel and Pres­i­dent Joachim Gauck in at­ten­dance.

Sup­port­ers of Pegida, the anti-im­mi­grant, xeno­pho­bic group that be­gan in Dres­den, also gave Mr Gauck a hos­tile greet­ing upon his ar­rival for the event.

The group ini­tially drew just a few hun­dred sup­port­ers to demon­stra­tions be­fore gain­ing strength, peak­ing with ral­lies of up to 25,000 peo­ple in early 2015.

Though Ms Merkel’s con­ser­va­tive Christian Democrats (CDU) took a drub­bing in re­cent re­gional polls, she in­sisted that “mu­tual re­spect” and “ac­cep­tance of very di­ver­gent po­lit­i­cal opin­ions” are needed to meet the chal­lenges fac­ing Ger­many.

The right-wing pop­ulist Al­ter­na­tive for Ger­many (AfD) har­nessed a wave of anger over the refugee in­flux to claim around 14 per­cent of the vote in the Ber­lin state elec­tion last month. –

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