Washington think-tank, Brookings Institution, reports that a recent opinion poll indicates that the far-right Alternative for Germany party is rapidly gaining ground, with its popular support reaching 15 percent, compared to around 5 percent a year ago. However, the article’s author, Kemal Derviş, argues that with an effective refugee-integration strategy this dangerous trend can be reversed.
This article provides us with two polarities. On the one hand, there is the risk of destruction of modern German and xenophobia taking control, with a major terrorist attack considered as the likely trigger point. On the other hand, the author paints a picture of successful integration of refugees and economic growth.
As a realist, I am deeply uncomfortable with these arguments which I find unduly simplistic. There are many other theoretical outcomes in between the extremes.
I do not live in Germany nor do I speak German, so it is difficult to present a subjective viewpoint. However, I do follow German media (published in English) on a daily basis – it paints a picture of popular backlash to immigration and the social consequences, plus the collapse of support for Angela Merkel. Meanwhile, liberal German friends assure me that the refugees are being successfully integrated and the right-wing is creating trouble.
I don’t know the likely outcome in Germany but I am fearful and worried by developments. For this reason, I shall continue to monitor events carefully.