Merkel: Germany must combat right-wing extremism

Chancellor's statement follows the murder of her regional ally Walter Luebcke

Photo: EPA German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany must rigorously fight rightwing extremism after the murder of a prominent politician. Walter Luebcke, the head of the district government in Kassel in the state of Hesse and a regional ally of Merkel known for his pro-migrant views, was shot in the head at close range on the terrace of his home.

The arrest of a man with suspected far-right sympathies over the shooting shocked the country and prompted calls for a more proactive government response to anti-immigrant extremists. Thus, the chancellor, speaking in Dortmund on Saturday at an annual gathering of Protestant churches, addressed those concerns, insisting that rightwing extremism must be fought “without any taboo”.

“Otherwise we will have a complete loss of credibility,” she said, adding that the government took the issue “very, very seriously”. Her Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, made similar comments last week.

According to domestic intelligence agency BfV Germany is home to 12,700 potentially violent far-right radicals, and a Civey poll showed 60% of Germans think the government is doing too little to oppose them.

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