Rattled Scholz loses cool when confronted by angry hecklers over Russia

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s outburst over Ukraine support

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz lost his cool when he faced an angry crowd heckling him over Germany’s response to Russia’s war on Ukraine. The German leader furiously responded as people shouted “warmonger” at him during a public speech.

He blasted back: “Warmonger? Putin is the warmonger!

“He marched into Ukraine with 200,000 soldiers. He’s mobilised a lot more. He’s risked the lives of his own citizens.

“While you are all shouting ‘make peace without weapons’, Putin has been assembling unbelievable numbers of tanks, rockets, ballistic missiles and he’s aimed them at Ukraine.

“He’s destroying cities, he’s destroying villages, he’s destroying railway lines and highways.

“And he has killed countless citizens of Ukraine, children and old people.”

It comes after prominent members of German mainstream parties have expressed alarm at a new poll that shows support for the far-right Alternative for Germany at a record high.

The DeutschlandTrend survey, conducted monthly by infratest dimap for public broadcaster ARD, that was released on Thursday puts voter support for Alternative for Germany at 18 per cent, on a par with Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats. In the 2021 election, Scholz’s party received 25.7 per cent of the vote, while Alternative for Germany, or AfD, got 10.3 per cent.

“This (…) is a disaster and should be understood as an alarm signal for all parties of the center,” said Norbert Roettgen, a senior lawmaker for the main opposition Christian Democrats, whose support stood at 29 percent in the poll of 1,302 voters conducted from May 30-31. The margin of error was up to 3 percentage points.

Roettgen said his own center-right party should ask itself why it hasn’t profited as much from voters’ unhappiness at the government.

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

His party colleague Serap Guler said the strong support for AfD should alarm all democratic parties.

“We bear responsibility for changing this again quickly,” she said late Thursday.

AfD previously hit 18 per cent in the DeutschlandTrend survey in September 2018 amid discord in then Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government.

Scholz’s three-party coalition with the environmentalist Greens and the libertarian Free Democrats has faced strong headwind recently over high immigration and a plan to replace millions of home heating systems in the country. Germany’s military support for Ukraine’s defence against the Russian invasion is also rejected by a sizeable portion of the populace, though it has majority support.

AfD and its affiliates have come under scrutiny from the country’s domestic intelligence agency, BfV, for its ties to extremists. The head of the agency warned recently of “astonishing parallels” between the present and the 1920s and 1930s, which saw a rise in political extremism and authoritarianism that culminated in the Nazi dictatorship.

Don’t miss…
Rock takes role as cheap choice for fish and chips[DATA]
Two-year-old killed and 22 people injured in Putin’s missile raid on Ukraine[INSIGHT]
Russian tennis star preparing Wimbledon request after storming French Open run[VIDEO]

About two-thirds of those who supported AfD in the poll said they did so in protest over other parties, rather than because they were convinced by the far right’s policies. Still, AfD stands a chance to win in three state elections in eastern Germany next year, which would put mainstream forces in the awkward position of having to form a broad coalition against the strongest party.

A leading member of the Free Democrats, Bijan Djir-Sarai, said that the strong support for AfD was shocking.

“It should prompt self-criticism from all democratic parties,” he told German news agency dpa on Friday. Djir-Sarai said that it was important to win back frustrated voters and take their concerns seriously.

Sawsan Chebli, a member of the Social Democrats, tweeted after the polls were published: “The AfD is at 18 per cent. People, wake the hell up!”

Source: Read Full Article