Amongst economic and foreign policy concerns, a flux of immigrants is colliding with rigid cultural and nationalistic societies in Germany and across Europe. Right-wing populist parties seek to overturn multiculturalism and liberal democracy in order to restore national values and a sense of home.
According to a poll conducted by YouGov, over 30 percent of people in Sweden, Holland, Britain, Spain, France and Italy and 44 percent in Germany agree with the statement: “There are so many foreigners living around here, it doesn’t feel like home anymore.”
In Germany the right-wing populist party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), has gained popularity. AfD started in 2013 as a movement opposing the Euro currency. In response to terrorist attacks by radical extremists throughout Europe and increasing immigration to Germany within the last couple of years, anti-immigration has become their primary platform.
The party, led by Frauke Petry, a former research chemist and entrepreneur, won over 20 percent of the vote in the German state elections in March, becoming the first far-right party to do so well in Germany since World War II. In September AfD became the second largest party in the state parliament.
“(AfD attracts) voters who (are) anti-establishment, anti-liberalization, anti-European, anti-everything that has come to be regarded as the norm,” Sylke Tempel, a member of the German Council on Foreign Relations, said in New York Times article.