MUNICH, Germany — Europe’s refugee crisis has boosted support across the continent for populist forces who cast newcomers as unwanted intruders. And despite its own dark history of xenophobia, Germany is no exception.
Once a eurosceptic party centered on economic issues, Alternative for Germany (AfD) has become the country’s third most popular political force, thanks to its aggressive anti-immigration rhetoric. Most recently, AfD leaders shocked moderates when they said they approved shooting refugeeswho attempt to illegally cross the border.
It was extreme even for some of the AfD’s own followers, but it captures just the kind of raw discontent the party is trying to harness as public frustration grows over the refugee crisis.
Today, polls find the overwhelming majority of the population believes the German government has lost control over the refugee situation — and analysts say AfD has been the primary beneficiary. Read More