New AfD leader denounces open-border immigration
Already we like Alice Weidel, the new co-leader of the Alternative für Deutschland party that seeks to end the 12-year reign of the German chancellor in the Sept. 24 elections.
“The country will be destroyed through Merkel’s immigration policy,” Weidel said. “Donald Trump said that Merkel is insane and I absolutely agree with that. Germany needs qualified migrants. The people who have come here as refugees are illiterate, they don’t have any training. This just can’t go on.”
Weidel, and her co-leader Alexander Gauland, 76, a senior party official, replace Frauke Petry, who was ousted after she proposed toning down the inflammatory rhetoric of the far-right party and bringing it closer to the center.
The AfD was formed in 2013 by several economists who are opposed to a single Euro currency, is now vigorously anti-immigration and anti-European Union.
Weidel, 38, an economist and former Goldman Sachs banker, has a doctorate in international development and speaks Mandarin Chinese from her six years of living in East Asia. She now lives with a female Swiss film producer and their two children in the town of Überlingen on Lake Constance on the Rhine between Germany, Switzerland and Austria at the northern foot of the Alps. They have a second residence in Biel, Switzerland.
Merkel’s decision in 2015 to open Germany’s borders to all refugees spurred the AfD into action. Until then, the party was a non-factor without a single seat in the parliament. But when tens of thousands of asylum seekers began pouring into Germany every day, the party committed itself to bringing down Merkel and her open-border immigration policy. The AfD picked up steam, and supporters, in local elections last year.
Nearly 800,000 asylum seekers flooded Germany in 2015. “That is completely crazy,” said Weidel. “That is 10 percent of the German population in one year.”
The AfD has also aligned itself against radical Islamism. “There are 1,200 people who pose a threat to the country here, who aren’t being deported,” Weidel said. “This country has completely lost control over civil society.”
She decries the fact that Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia “have a free hand to send their imams to Germany with their stone-age sharia populism to tap into the Muslim population here.”
Islamist radicalism has been inexorably rising in Germany over recent years, in lockstep with far-right violence. Reports of violent crime by right-wing radicals was up more than 14 percent last year.
Weidel denies accusations of racism against her party. “There are no racists in the AfD. But one must see that dangerous people have come into the country through the government’s open-border policy. Even the government admits that one can’t rule out that terrorists have come in.” — Wilhelm Michelob