Politicians in Germany on Wednesday called on citizens to raise their voices against right-wing populism and xenophobia.
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Parliamentary Speaker, Wolfgang Schaeuble, made the call at the 28th anniversary of Germany’s reunification Day held in Berlin.
The politicians called for more dialogue and mutual respect in order to overcome divisions that have flourished as the country grapples with a migration crisis and the rise of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
“In Germany, too, we are confronted with the populist hubris of recruiting ‘the people’ against political opponents, against alleged and actual minorities, against those elected by the people,” Schaeuble said,
No one has the right to assert that he or she alone represents “the people,” the former finance minister said, calling for more courage and trust in the agency of society.
Speaking before the event in Berlin, Merkel described German unity as a “long road’’ and “a process’’ that has not yet been achieved.
It is important “to listen to each other, to approach each other, not to shrink away,” the chancellor said.
Michael Mueller, the president of the German parliament’s upper house, said: “We must not allow the minority of a new right-wing movement to seize sovereignty over what has been achieved while ignoring the fundamental values of our society.”
This year, Berlin hosted the main celebrations for German Unity Day, with festivities organised near the city’s iconic Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag featuring concerts and discussion forums.
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