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Pintada antiinmigrantes en un cartel electoral de Angela Merkel. MATTHIAS SCHUMANN (REUTERS)

Los polideportivos están vacíos, las leyes de asilo son más duras, y las fronteras de Europa están más o menos protegidas. La crisis de los refugiados ha pasado. Sin embargo, sigue siendo la fuerza que todo lo mueve en la República Federal. Determinó la campaña electoral y el resultado de las elecciones, y en los próximos cuatro años decidirá el futuro político del país.

También esta legislatura tendrá que vérselas con las medidas en materia de asilo, el Reglamento de Dublín y las expulsiones. Y con los asuntos pendientes relacionados con la integración, así como con la protección de los derechos fundamentales y los costes para el sistema social.…  Seguir leyendo »

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has a selfie taken with a refugee during a visit to a refugee reception center in Berlin in September 2015. (EPA)

At the height of the refugee crisis two years ago, many Germans thought that Angela Merkel’s days as chancellor were numbered. Merkel’s open embrace of Syrian refugees upset the conservative wing of her own Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and fired up the far-right, anti-Muslim Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

Fast forward to Sept. 24, 2017, and the CDU lost millions of votes. But it remains Germany’s largest party, with Merkel at the head. The election campaign was widely characterized as boring, in part because her center-right CDU and the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) largely agree on how to approach the immigration issue.…  Seguir leyendo »

“It’s the refugees, stupid.”

That might as well have been the catchphrase in Sunday’s regional elections in Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition suffered a crushing defeat. A budget surplus of 19 billion euros and the lowest unemployment rate in 25 years weren’t enough to keep the loyalty of voters in three states.

The 1 million asylum seekers who reached Germany in 2015 — and the prospect of a similar number arriving this year — turned these elections into a referendum on Merkel’s refugee policy.

The right-wing populist party, Alternative for Germany (AfD) burst into all three regional legislatures, winning not only a quarter of the vote in Saxony-Anhalt, a rustbelt state in the former East Germany, but also 15 percent in wealthy Baden-Wuerttemberg, according to preliminary results.…  Seguir leyendo »