German anti-migrant rally highlights European backlash

While many Germans have welcomed the influx of migrants, there has also been a backlash with support growing for the anti-Islamic PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident) movementGermany’s PEGIDA movement holds an anti-migrant rally Monday a year on from its formation, highlighting a European backlash towards a massive influx that has heaped pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel. The demonstration comes a day after Swiss voters returned a historically strong result for a populist party known for its virulent campaigns against immigrants and Islam, and following a knife attack on a German mayoral candidate who championed refugee issues. Monday’s rally, due to start at 1600 GMT in PEGIDA’s stronghold of Dresden, marks a contrast to efforts by Merkel who over the weekend made a crucial one-day trip to Turkey, where she hailed progress in helping Ankara deal with the migrant crisis and vowed to push forward its long-stalled EU membership bid.

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