Courtesy of the Times.
The far-right Alternative for Germany party has overtaken the Social Democrats to become the second-strongest force in politics in the country, according to a poll conducted after the Chemnitz anti-immigrant riots. The AfD enjoys 17 per cent support with the SPD on 16 per cent, and Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union at 28.5 per cent, according to the Insa institute poll. The figures suggest the AfD has succeeded in capitalising on the killing in Chemnitz of Daniel Hillig, a German carpenter of Cuban descent, which triggered the worst neo-Nazi riots in a generation. The survey was conducted for Bild from August 31 to September 3.
Two suspects have been charged with manslaughter in the killing that rekindled anger at Mrs Merkel’s open-door policy, although the interior ministry said yesterday that the heritage of the two men had not been established beyond doubt. They were initially described as a 22-year-old Iraqi and a 23-year-old Syrian. Hans Strobl, the Saxony state prosecutor, added that the Chemnitz district court had issued an arrest warrant for a third suspect, Farahan Ramazan Ahmad, a 22-year-old asylum seeker from Iraq, following new testimony from eyewitnesses and from one of the two suspects who are in custody.
The AfD supported last week’s protests, during which immigrants were chased through the streets and demonstrators gave the Hitler salute as thousands of neo-Nazis from across Germany descended on the city. Beatrix von Storch, the AfD deputy parliamentary group leader, caused controversy by condemning an anti-racism concert that was held in Chemnitz on Monday and which attracted 65,000 people. “You are Merkel’s subjects, you are disgusting and you are dancing on graves,” she tweeted.