Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 15 October 2019

Senior politician warns of far-right encroachment into German army, police

Germany leadership urged to move against extremist infiltration

CDU politician Friedrich Merz said part of the security services had been 'lost' to the far-right Alternative for Germany. EPA
CDU politician Friedrich Merz said part of the security services had been 'lost' to the far-right Alternative for Germany. EPA

Police and soldiers in Germany are being wooed by the far-right, a senior politician has warned.

Friedrich Merz, runner up in the Christian Democratic Union leadership race last year, said part of the security services had been “lost” to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, citing statements from friends and family members in the armed forces and police.

“They tell me how the mood is there, how many feel abandoned by their employers,” he warned. “We’re obviously losing parts of the armed forces to the AfD. We’re losing parts of the federal police to the AfD.”

Mr Merz’s statements come just weeks after the AfD failed to win its first mayoral seat in the eastern city of Görlitz in what was a close-run race.

However, the party gained seven seats in the European Parliament elections, taking its total to 11. The party joined a far-right, nationalist collective of groups in Brussels, including Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and Matteo Salvini’s Northern League.

The AfD’s rhetoric has been criticised by other political forces in Germany for normalising extremist language. Earlier this month, refugee advocate and CDU politician Walter Lübcke was shot dead, allegedly by a far-right extremist. Police said Stephan Ernst, 45, is the main suspect and had links to neo-Nazi organisations.

“This is not just a terrible act but also a major challenge for us to examine on all fronts where there are extreme-right tendencies,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Updated: June 25, 2019 02:41 PM

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