German state elections: Success for right-wing AfD, losses for Merkel′s CDU | DW.COM

The solution to the refugee problem negotiated between the EU and Turkey is not a solution, it’s a joke. Merkel cooked her own goose, deciding unilaterally, out of good intentions, to accept all refugees, underestimating the quantity and then trying to get the rest of Europe to get these people off her hands. This has left her open to attacks from the extreme right at home – and a blank refusal from countries which know that they will have bloody riots on their hands, if they accept hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees. It’s all very well blaming the populists, who are indeed exploiting the situation, but a lot of people in Europe really don’t want instant large minorities of Muslims at home, considering the trouble they’ve seen in France, the UK and Spain in the recent past. However distasteful, in democratic societies you can’t force people to accept situations to which the are viscerally opposed. I wish I had an answer to: and what happens now? But I don’t.

I believe that Germany has a great responsibility in Europe, whether it wants it or not. With responsibility comes privilege, but making unilateral decisions and trying to impose them on the rest of the members is a tricky one. Merkel can impose her will on governments, which can be convinced with rational arguments, blackmailed or strong-armed into all sorts of decisions, but she can’t convince the members’ electorate to follow her diktats – in fact, she can’t convince her own electorate, as it turns out. Indeed, leadership consists in going against the will of your own electorate, sometimes. But you better have luck on your side: remember Tony Blair arguing that, what was the point of being a PM if he couldn’t make decisions, even if his citizens didn’t agree with him? He was talking about intervention in Iraq – and we know the result of that one. If Angela Merkel is lucky, she will have millions of Syrians, Iraqis, Turks, Afghanis, North Africans – and whatever other migrants care to join the flow, but she will need a huge amount of luck, hoping that they are all well-behaved citizens, ready to learn, work and adapt nicely. Otherwise, she is in deep trouble. I am not anti-German, I just think that she may have been carried away by hubris and her wish to leave a positive, human image for posterity, after all the bashing she got because of austerity and all the insults from the Greeks. Let’s hope that she didn’t overreach herself.
Estimates suggest significant success for the populist right-wing AfD in three key state elections. Chancellor Merkel’s CDU saw losses in two out of three states, which have been attributed to her refugee policies.

Source: German state elections: Success for right-wing AfD, losses for Merkel′s CDU | Breaking News | DW.COM | 13.03.2016