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Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups

Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups A demonstration organized by the anti-migrant movement PEGIDA in Dresden, January 2015.

Radical parties and groups are the catalyst for xenophobic attitudes in society, capable of directing them into the mainstream turning into protest activity up to violent hate crimes. They can exist only in conditions of imposing various fears over "foreign influence" and the threat to national identity.

Recent poll by ARD Deutschlandtrend Voter revealed that support for Merkel’s government dropped from 57 percent in July 2015 to 38 percent on February 2016. According to Emnid survey the popular support for the euro-sceptic Alternative for Germany have surged from 1 percent to 10 percent.

An opinion poll by German newsmagazine Stern also illustratesgrowing support for parties and movements tapping into voter fears that mainstream politicians are too soft on immigration. The AfD party, which is closely affiliated to PEGIDA is viewed as a positive development in Germany by half of the public. Twenty-nine percent of people thought the marches by the group PEGIDA were justified because of the degree of influence that Islam was having on life in Germany. The poll found that 71 percent of AfD supporters felt the rallies were justified. While two thirds of those polled believed the idea of an 'Islamization' of Germany was exaggerated, many Germans are concerned about the numbers of asylum seekers fleeing countries such as Syria. Furthermore, it was found that one in eight Germans would join a march against "Islamization" if one were held in their hometown. About two thirds of Germans asked by the polling group Forsa felt that the threat that "Islamization" posed within Germany was being exaggerated by PEGIDA.

The National Democratic Party of Germany (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, NPD), is a far-right electoral party in Germany. NPD, which descended from the German Reich Party (Deutsche Reichspartei, DRP), was founded in 1964. In January 2011, it merged with the nationalist German People’s Union (Deutsche Volksunion). In 2014, the party representative Udo Voigt won a seat in the European Parliament. The NPD currently has five seats in the northern federal state of Mecklenburg West Pomerania – and is entitled to campaign subsidies from the federal government. The attempts to ban the party, which is infamous for neo-Nazi violence and National Socialist ideology, has been under way for years. The latest ban attempt was triggered by the arson attack against a planned refugee house in Tröglitz in April 2015. PEGIDA formed branches in various European countries. 29% of Germans believe that marches and other mass actions conducted by PEGIDA are absolutely justified because Islam has a significant impact on life in the country, and the government fails to adequately react to it. On July 7, 2015, Deutsche Welle reported on the intentions of this organisation to create a political party on the eve of the general elections in 2017.

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