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German Anti-Migrant Rally Highlights European Backlash
International

German Anti-Migrant Rally Highlights European Backlash

Germany’s PEGIDA movement held an anti-migrant rally on Monday a year on from its formation, highlighting a European backlash towards a massive influx that has heaped pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The demonstration comes a day after Swiss voters returned a historically strong result for a populist party known for its virulent campaigns against immigrants and Islam, and following a knife attack on a German mayoral candidate who championed refugee issues, AFP reports.
Monday’s rally in PEGIDA’s stronghold of Dresden, marked a contrast to efforts by Merkel who over the weekend made a crucial one-day trip to Turkey, where she hailed progress in helping Ankara deal with the migrant crisis and vowed to push forward its long-stalled EU membership bid.
The European Union wants Turkey to do more to tighten its border security and help contain the historic influx of Syrians and others escaping conflict, persecution and poverty.
In return, Ankara wants greater recognition for its role in hosting more than two million Syrian refugees, an increase in financial help and an acceleration of its stuttering drive for EU membership.
Merkel and the Turkish leadership indicated officials were making progress towards a deal on cooperation, although neither suggested a final agreement had been reached.
Speaking after her talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Merkel said the EU and Turkey were in agreement to work closer “on dynamiting the accession process” toward Turkey’s EU membership and also visa liberalization for Turks wanting to travel to the EU’s Schengen zone.
“The talks in that direction are very promising and will be continued,” said Merkel.

 

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