Not so quiet Germany

The New Yorker had an interesting piece on Angela Merkel in its December 1st issue.  I just got around reading it in preparation for my German politics class this Spring. First I did not like it at all. George Packer simply over-glorified Germany's self-criticism and the post-war lessons learned. When thousands of "patriotic Europeans" protest against the "Islamization of the West" it is hard to believe that we are doing so well with dealing with the past. And Merkel was silent on the matter for too long. It was just on her 2014 New Years address on German public television that he renounced the PEGIDA (Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes) movement. Now in the light of the terrorist attacks in France, she strongly voiced her opposition and embraced the German Muslims for the first time. This is typical Merkel slow-motion politics which Packer explains brilliantly with her upbringing, career and character. She seems to wait out issues until they are settled publicly and then takes a stance with the majority.For a similar tactic her colleague French President Francois Hollande gets criticized all the time. So while this is an outstanding article on Merkel, it only shows the sunny side of today's Germany. Contrary to the article's tenor, the far right in Germany is gaining - the new party "Alternative for Germany" (Alternative fuer Deutschland - AfD) won double digits in the last regional election and did very well in May when the European Parliament was elected. Germany is not quiet and it is worth it to keep an eye out. 

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