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Merkel beaten by AfD in local election

September 7th, 2016

Leading dailies disagree on whether the rise of the anti-immigration AfD in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state election has proven Chancellor Merkel’s immigration policies wrong.

Chancellor Merkel is an unfit leader in a time of crisis, Zoltán Kottász comments on the results of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state election in Magyar Idők. The pro-government commentator interprets the growing popularity of the radical AfD and the far-left Die Linke as proof of growing anti-establishment sentiments. The main reason for the CDU’s decline is Angela Merkel’s failure to realize that Germans want strict limits on migration, Kottász thinks.

In Népszava, Tamás Rónay attributes the surge of the AFD to poverty, rather than to anti-immigrant sentiments alone. The left-wing columnist suspects however that if the CDU receives another blow at the Berlin election, Chancellor Merkel will have to take a U-turn in her migration policies.

Népszabadság’s front page editorial points out that the CDU in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern tried to compete with the AfD and joined the anti-immigrant fear mongering rather than following Chancellor Merkel’s policy line. Thus, the decline of the CDU cannot be interpreted as a defeat of Angela Merkel’s migration politics, the leading left-wing daily remarks. Népszabadság adds that despite the surge of the far-right AfD, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern election was won by the Left. The lesson for the Hungarian Left is that it should not join the choir of the anti-immigrant populist Right as MSZP leader Molnár seems to believe (see BudaPost September 5).

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