Conservatives Rally Grassroots Against Angela Merkel

MUNICH, GERMANY - JANUARY 11: Supporters of the right-wing populist group Pegida, holding a placard "Merkel muss weg" ('Merkel Off') march on January 11, 2016 in Munich, Germany. Pegida and other right-wing activists have been quick to latch on to the New Year's Eve sex attacks in Cologne. Over 100 …
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Grassroots conservatives across Germany are vocally rejecting the policies of Angela Merkel and voice their opposition to her running for a fourth term as chancellor in 2017.

Groups of conservatives are forming across the German political landscape in opposition to Merkel’s migrant policies with several members of her own Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) becoming vocal defenders of traditional conservative values, reports Die Welt.

CDU members Simone Baum and Alexander Willms are leading the new conservative resistance, or “Conservative Circle”. Both party members have been travelling across the region of North Rhine-Westphalia drumming up grassroots support from like-minded conservatives.

Councillor Willms points to Ms. Merkel’s migrant policy over the last year to be at the core of the problem. “The federal government should have refused entry to all persons who have not arrived at German airports because they have passed at least one safe country,” he said.

Baum and Willms wrote a four-page letter to the CDU leadership in the summer which said that allowing over a million illegal immigrants, many who have no chance of asylum, was a grave violation of the rights of the German citizens.

Former CDU Bundestag deputy and East German (GDR) dissident Vera Lengsfeld agrees and said that the migration issue was stifled by what she called a “totalitarian journalism campaign”. She added the German parliament was becoming more and more like the old Soviet GDR. Ms. Lengsfeld warned that it will be “years before we are able to cope with the chaos” of “uncontrolled mass immigration”.

The sister party to the CDU, the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), is also becoming increasingly at odds with the leadership of Merkel’s party with leader Horst Seehofer even threatening not to campaign with Ms. Merkel for next year’s federal election.

CSU member Thomas Jahn, who assists in running a network of CSU and CDU conservatives called the Conservative Movement (KA), claimed, “We are getting more and more inquiries from the CDU and now we have a contact in every state. We must ensure a turnaround in the CDU.”

Another term of Chancellor Merkel was, according to Mr. Jahn, not an option for conservatives going forward. “Our core voters are no longer prepared to support Merkel as candidate for chancellor,” he said, reflective of the opinion of a majority of Germans according to polls.

While criticism of Merkel has been rampant on social media sites, traditionally members of the CDU have been quiet about issues they have disagreed with the chancellor on from energy policy to bailouts of Eurozone countries by German banks.

Councillor Baum described the internal situation in the CDU saying, “In the many decisions of federal policy, we are no longer allowed to have our personal opinion and political stance. There are also no party-internal debates. We are no longer a classic conservative party membership.”


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