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Europe's Far-Right Resurgence
Germany’s Merkel Stays Strong as Far Right Wanes

Here’s some bad news for Germany’s far-right Alternative für Deutschland party: a new poll found that it had garnered only 2 percent support from respondents. According to OpenEurope, that’s the first time in 2015 that the party has seen less than 5 percent support. The drop in support comes after bickering broke out within the AfD party’s European Parliamentary group. A party member recently left the board over claims that some members were trying to push the party towards more extreme positions. More, via Business Insider:

Hans-Olaf Henkel, a close ally of AfD founder Bernd Lucke, has quit the party’s main executive body due to attempts by “right-wing ideologues” to take over, he said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung to be published on Friday.

While Henkel and Lucke want to establish the AfD as a serious alternative to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives by advocating liberal economic policies, more right-leaning members are calling for a tougher stance against foreigners and are flirting with an anti-Islam protest group based in Dresden.

In the meantime, Merkel’s CDU/CSU party is at 42 percent, and her personal brand remains strong. In a direct run-off with Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, Merkel would take it by 58 percent to Gabriel’s 11. The rise of fringe parties in the EU has shaken much of the EU establishment, and has certainly reshaped the contours of European politics in several countries. But it looks like in Germany, at least, some of that momentum is dissipating.

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