German Government Minister Causes Outrage Calling Opposing AFD Party 'Nazis'
[Monday, 11 September 2017 17:14]
Sigmar Gabriel, the German foreign minister, said voting for the far-right AfD party could put "Nazis back in the Reichstag" on Monday, in an insult rarely heard in national politics.
In an interview with the local media, Mr Gabriel said many German voters were considering voting Alternative fur Deutschland in the upcoming election as they felt their concerns about migration, security and jobs were not being addressed.
"If we're unlucky, then these people will send a signal of dissatisfaction that will have terrible consequences. Then we will have real Nazis in the German Reichstag for the first time since the end of World War Two," the Social Democrat told t-online.de.
His comments were unusually strong given Germans' continued sensitivity to Nazi references, even 70 years after the war ended.
The AfD is yet to respond to his comments.
It came as Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, admitted in a separate interview that it was "naive" of the EU to introduce free movement of people without stricter border checks.
"I see a major task ahead of us in security policy, which is that we Europeans need to know exactly who is staying with us," Mrs Merkel told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
"It was too naive at the time to create a European area of freedom of movement without effectively controlling our European external borders."
The Chancellor, who is expected to beat her Social Democrat rival Martin Schulz at the election on September 24, added: "We have made considerable progress in protecting the external borders."
"Now we are setting up a register in which everyone who is entering and leaving the European Union is registered." Read More