Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

By Josie Le Blond

HEIDENAU, Germany (Reuters) — Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned on Monday violent protests against refugees that erupted over the weekend in eastern Germany, blaming them on far-right extremists who were bent on spreading a “disgusting” message of hatred.

More than 30 police were injured in clashes in the town of Heidenau near Dresden in early Saturday morning, after a mob of several hundred people, many of them drunk, began pelting officers with bottles and fireworks. Some of them shouted “Heil Hitler.”

Germany, which expects the number of asylum seekers to quadruple to about 800,000 this year, has witnessed dozens of arson attacks on asylum shelters in recent months. But the violence in Heidenau, which continued on Saturday and Sunday nights, was unprecedented.

Sigmar Gabriel, vice chancellor and economy minister, traveled to the town of 16,000 on Monday, meeting with the mayor and speaking with local residents.

“There are a lot of people that worry their lives will change because of the refugees, that living here will become less secure,” Gabriel said.

“But it must be clear that we don’t give a single millimeter to these far-right mobs,” he added. “These are people that have nothing to do with Germany. This is not the Germany we want.”

Merkel, through her spokesman Steffen Seibert, said it was disgusting how right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis had tried to spread their message of hate near a shelter in Heidenau, where some 250 refugees arrived late on Friday.

“The chancellor and the whole government condemn in the strongest manner possible the violence and the aggressive atmosphere toward foreigners there,” Seibert said.

On its website, Heidenau describes itself as “the friendly town on the river Elbe”. A public relations video on Youtube shows an idyllic, family-oriented town, with children singing in a field of flowers and splashing each other with water from a fountain.

But Heidenau is located in an electoral district where the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) won 8.7 percent of the vote in a state election last year. It was the third-highest NPD score in all of Saxony, an eastern state of 4 million that shares a border with Poland and the Czech Republic.

Mayor Juergen Opitz, a member of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), described the protesters as an “unholy alliance” of far-right elements from Heidenau and “Nazi tourists” who traveled from other parts of Saxony to cause trouble wherever asylum centers were set up.

Many of the refugees arriving in Germany are fleeing violence in countries like Syria, Iraq and Eritrea, but over a third are from southeastern European countries like Albania and Serbia.

(Writing by Noah Barkin, editing by Larry King)

Photo: German Chancellor Angela Merkel reviews an honor guard before a meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, August 20, 2015. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

  • Daniel Jones

    Chancellor Merkel:
    It has not been all that many years since you spoke out against multi-culturalism.
    What you see is the result of monoculture. I do not gloat saying this. Americans also face severe loss of retention of historic imperative.
    I voted for Ronald Reagan, and I should have known that trickle-down economics simply does not, could not, and never could work. But I didn’t learn the right lessons before.
    The Supreme Court has let itself be so co-opted that the Voting Rights Act and Campaign Oversight are now jokes.
    Whenever a safety precaution seems unneeded, it may simply be a sign of how functional and vital it is.
    So, too, for accepting many cultures.

    • Otto Greif

      Reagan’s economic policies worked great.

      • Independent1

        Only in the minds of low IQ RWNJs like yourself. Fact is, the economy under Reagan wasn’t even as good as that under Nixon; and it was worse than the economies under every Democrat in office since Hoover who orchestrated the Great Depression.

        America’s worst president ever, was in actuality, a very mediocre president even though he was in office when the American economy should have soared like at no time before – IBM announced the desktop PC 6 months after Reagan took office, and every company that is now in the computer and smartphone field, were either greatly expanded or born during Reagan’s presidency. Fact is, it was Reagan’s mishandling of the economy which stymied the grown of the personal computer for years – his cutting taxes was the worst thing that anyone could have done to try and spur the economy out of a recession.

        Low taxes, especially with respect to capital gains taxes are a disincentive for investors, because with the low tax rates on investment earnings, they can make more money at less risk just leaving their monies in overseas and other investment accounts – than they can make under the greater risk of trying to expand or create a business.

        And you can thank Reagan for having begun the total destruction of the American way of life: Ronnie is responsible for the fact that many Americans today are working part time jobs with little or no benefits, and the top 20% owns 95% of our country’s income stream.

        Here’s some charts that show that income inequality skyrocketed during Ronnie’s presidency and that job growth and the economy was absolutely MEDIOCRE during his 2 terms.

        • Otto Greif

          What an amazingly stupid post. You claim ” cutting taxes was the worst thing that anyone could have done to try and spur the economy out of a recession”, even though it worked. Then you blame Reagan for the number of part time workers today. Your views on capital gains taxes are nonsensical.

          • Independent1

            That’s only because being low IQ conservative you don’t think. Say you own a company and are sitting on 200 million or more in investment monies and are trying to decide whether to risk expanding your business or maybe starting a new line – DURING A RECESSION WHEN SALES AREN’T GOING WELL.

            Suddenly the government decides to change the tax code, such that now taxes on your investments have been lowered from 28% to 15% and you know that with your business deductions you can probably get your effective tax rate down to under 10% or even close to zero, or even less than zero because of our convoluted tax code.

            While if you start that new line or expand your current business, you’re looking at a 32% max tax rate that you have to work down, which you may be able to get down close to 20%.

          • Otto Greif

            None of that makes any sense. You are so confused and say so many wrong things you are not worth addressing, but I will note that Clinton cut capital gains taxes.

        • Otto Greif

          If the economy was “mediocre” under Reagan, how would you describe the current economy?

          • Independent1

            Several articles in Forbes have stated that the economy under Obama has outperformed anything Reagan did. The GDP growth has been better, Obama got the unemployment rate to a level in 6 years that Reagan was never able to accomplish in 8 years. Reagan never had a sustained period of positive jobs growth, there have been 65 straight months of jobs growth under Obama, more than a year longer than under any previous president. And while Reagan averaged over 7%/yr budget increases; the budget under Obama has been under 2%/yr growth. And no president has reduced deficit spending further and faster than Obama. From 1.4T/yr to under 400B in 5 budgets; that’s a budget drop of 1T/yr in 5 budgets.

          • Otto Greif

            GDP growth under Reagan: 2.6, -1.9, 4.6, 7.3, 4.2, 3.5, 3.5, 4.2. More jobs were created during the Reagan years, even though the population was smaller. The Obama recovery has been anemic. It’s sad.

          • Independent1

            You know what, I’ll bet you could have done better than Reagan if you’d done like he did, THROW MONEY AT THE ECONOMY!! Any nitwit president could create a lot of jobs if he was going to sit back and make up projects for the government like star wars and a number of other things Reagan conjured up in his mind to throw money at. You do realize right, that Ronnie spent more money in 8 years and accumulated more debt for America, than all the presidents in office between he and Hoover combined!!

            Now what idiot couldn’t spur an economy even when he’d done the worst thing to get it really started, if he could blow through 2 trillion while starting America on the path to being a debtor nation??

            Contrast that with what Obama has done, which is work to resurrect a country that had lost 10 million plus jobs and had thousands of companies go belly up and on top of that had a political party that plotted to sabotage his presidency and has actually worked 24/7 for the past 6 years obstructing anything that they thought would benefit and spur the economy!!

            Given the circumstances, Obama is 10 times the president America’s most evil, devious, hateful president, Reagan, ever thought of being!!!!!

          • Independent1

            Oh! and I forgot to point out, comparing GDP growth and jobs growth between today and almost 40 years ago based on percentages really doesn’t make much sense. When Reagan was in office, our GDP was less than 1/2 what it is today; so adding 200 billion in economic output was say a 2% increase in GDP, while today adding 200 billion in economic output is less than 1% increase in GDP.

            It’s just like the idiocy of North Dakota for a couple years leading the nation in job creation percentage wise, because prior to that job creation had been almost non existent, such that adding 500 jobs in the state was maybe a 20% increase in job creation. While in reality, California creates more jobs in 2 months than ND has created in the past 10 years.

            And it’s even the absurdity of Reagan’s spending, his adding 2 trillion of debt in 8 years is closer to 5-6 trillion today. And if you adjusted Reagan’s GDP growth numbers for the enormous change in our GDP since he was in office, those numbers you posted would be less than 1/2 what they are.

          • Independent1

            If you really believe that idiocy it only proves you’re clearly a low IQ conservative!!!!!!

      • Independent1

        And here’s a couple pie charts that show just how bad the income inequality that Ronnie Boy started by cutting taxes more than in half for himself and his rich buddies. Ronnie is the only president that managed to increase his net worth by 10 million dollars while he was in the White House; and he’s the only president that’s ever had more than 100 people of his administration accused of felonies with a number actually brought to trial with a fair number convicted and actually sent to prison (more than all presidents since Teddy Roosevelt combined).

        • Otto Greif

          Income inequality isn’t important.

          • Independent1

            Sorry, I posted this in response to the wrong reply from you:
            If you really believe that idiocy it only proves you’re clearly a low IQ conservative!!!!!!

  • Otto Greif

    If the “hate” upsets you, stop flooding Germany with “refugees”

    • Independent1

      That’s right, shut the door on all those oppressed people and just let them return to the countries they were fleeing from where they most likely will be killed. Great GOP/conservative philosophy – LET THEM DIE!!!!


      • Otto Greif

        Western countries can’t take on the entire Third World.

  • Dominick Vila

    Unholy alliances? In the USA we refer to expressions of hatred and intolerance as Authenticity!

  • Like Antonio responded I am taken by
    surprise that a stay at home mom able to make $5849 in a few weeks on the
    internet. have a peek at this website on my profIle



  • .❝my neighbor’s mother is making $98 HOURLY on the

    A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my
    previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra
    open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the
    easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over
    $87, p/h.

    Learn More right Here….website on my PrroFile