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Tuesday, December 20, 2016
THEY ARE MERKEL'S DEAD!' German far-right blames Angela Merkel’s open-door migrant policy for Berlin truck attack
GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing a backlash after 12 people were killed when an attacker ploughed through innocent revellers at a Christmas market in a truck.
The country’s far-right leaders have blasted the chancellor’s “open-door” immigration policy for sparking the attack in Berlin.
“These are Merkel’s dead,” Marcus Pretzell, chairman of the Alternative for Germany party in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, posted on Twitter.
Merkel – who attended an award ceremony to celebrate the International Day of Migrants the day of the attack – said she was “shocked and shaken” by the tragedy.
The open door policy may well become Merkel’s political suicide.
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Across the economic powerhouse of the continent the social fabric of society is tearing.
The presence of almost a million recent migrants alone has served to trigger the biggest rise in right-wing support since the 1930s.
Germany is already reeling from the hundreds of sexual assaults by migrant men on New Year’s Eve 2015, the murder of a pregnant women by a 21-year-old Syrian refugee in Reutlingen, a suicide bombing in Ansbach in southern Germany, the shooting of nine people in Munich and an axe attack in Wurzburg – all of which took place in July.
Daniel Hamilton, executive director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, told Bloomberg Politics: “Germany hasn’t had an attack like this that’s killed a lot of people in a long time, so clearly there will be pressure on her.
“But there will also be a sense that Europeans are in this together, that it’s a common threat.”
The attack in Berlin comes five months after Tunisian extremist Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel ploughed a truck into a crowd on the Nice seafront, killing 86 people.
Germany must assume a truck plowing through a crowded Christmas market in Berlin was a "terrorist attack," Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday, while authorities expressed uncertainty over whether they had arrested the correct suspect.
Twelve people were killed and nearly 50 others injured when the truck drove into the popular Christmas market filled with tourists and locals outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church near Berlin's Zoo station late Monday.
Police detained an asylum-seeker from Pakistan shortly afterward, but he denied involvement, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said. The man had entered Germany on Dec. 31 last year and arrived in Berlin in February.