By Benjamin. G
On Monday, December 19th, a horrifying terrorist attack occurred on German soil. An attacker drove a truck through the crowded stalls of Berlin’s Christmas market. The truck hit and killed 12 people, as well as injuring 50 others. The suspect has been identified as a Pakistani, but he has been released after interrogation, and police have been frantically searching for the real suspect. Isis has claimed responsibility for the attack. This and recent terror attacks have had a profound impact on Germany’s viewing of Chancellor Merkel, and her whole immigrant policy.
It has been the cause of much turmoil in the political world as well. After the attacks occurred, Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a statement, saying that she offered her condolences to the families affected. She also stated that Germany must remain strong against this fear-provoking attack, and not to let it affect the German people’s Christmas holiday. Even so, the Merkel administration was swamped by criticism from opposition parties. Marcus Pretzell, a prominent member of the far-right “Alternative for Deutschland” anti-immigration party stated in a post: “When will the German state of law strike back? When will this cursed hypocrisy finally stop? These are Merkel’s dead! #Nice #Berlin.’ The party has been rapidly growing in popularity over the past year, winning several municipal elections. It is predicted to be a major player in the 2017 German election.
From across the Atlantic, president elect Donald Trump has also commented on the attacks, stating “Our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today’s horrifying terror attack in Berlin. Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday. ISIS and other Islamic terrorists continuously slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad. These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners. Other members of his caucus have expressed similar messages of support to the families.”
The attacks, following a string of terrorist encroachments on European soil has put the entire continent on high alert. Ever since the New-years assaults and the Paris shootings, military and police have become more prominent on the streets in over France, Germany and Sweden. This has resulted in millions of people beginning doubting Merkel and the EU’s open-door policy. As a result of this, far right, anti-immigration parties have also taken office in municipal elections for the first time since the Second World War, and several like the AFD may contest Merkel in the next election. This attack seems to be the final nail in the coffin for Merkel’s immigration policy, as she herself said in a statement after the attacks that the policy was a bad idea. Despite this, many people believe that Merkel has failed in her role to protect her people.
The attack will have a profound impact on the German perspective on the whole situation, and one may only think of what is to come.