Pegida shifts further to the right
Supporters of the Pegida movement have been protesting for a year at what they see as the Islamisation of Germany. Commentators observe a radicalisation among the demonstrators and their leaders in response to the refugee crisis, and see them as refugees fleeing the moral values of the West.
Pegida just wants to foment hatred these days
For one year now Pegida supporters have been demonstrating regularly in Dresden and other German cities. The movement has become more radical since its first Monday demonstrations, the centre-left daily Der Standard comments: "Today Pegida openly speaks of concentration camps and 'mounds for Muslims'. In concrete terms the movement opposes the asylum policy of German chancellor Angela Merkel, who the demonstrators would like to see strung up on the gallows. Trying to talk with the Pegida leaders has become pointless. They don't want to draw attention to popular fears, but to fuel hatred. Nevertheless the battlefield must not be relinquished to them. It's good that many people are once again standing up to Pegida and trying to show a different image of Dresden. These radical voices must also sound the alarm for politicians, the judiciary and the police: there must be zero tolerance for these rabble rousers."
Germany must integrate its countrymen
Germany must integrate not just refugees but also the xenophobic, violent-minded Pegida demonstrators, the public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk argues: "With its far-right folklore, Pegida is hampering - and poisoning - the debate on integration. ... If these people had only been hugged more in their childhood, if they had experienced - and learned to feel - empathy, they would not now feel the suffocating urge to spew their slogans in front of the Opera House in Dresden, of all places. They say they want to save the West and sing the praise of concentration camps. These are uprooted people, fleeing the moral values of the West in the name of which so many people on this continent have died. So the refugees among us did not all have to cross borders to get here. We also have an integration problem with our own countrymen."
Openness towards migrants gives way to doubt
The mood among the Germans has changed in view of the steady flow of refugees arriving in recent weeks, the centre-right daily The Malta Independent observes: "The sudden and unexpected influx of so many persons from an alien culture and civilisation has caused a great shockwave in the German people and there are many Germans who now are having second thoughts on this migratory wave. ... Germany does not have the xenophobic fringe that some other countries have - from Hungary to Finland to Denmark etc. Nevertheless, the resentment at the sudden influx of migrants is beginning to darken the German countryside. Crimes against migrants are on the increase and every incident involving the migrants is given sudden prominence."