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Anti-Migration Protests in Germany Unlikely to Deter Migrant Flows – ICMPD

© REUTERS / Hannibal HanschkePeople attend a right wing protest in Koethen, Germany, September 9, 2018, after a 22-year-old German man died overnight in the eastern town of Koethen and two Afghans have been detained on suspicion of killing him.
People attend a right wing protest in Koethen, Germany, September 9, 2018, after a 22-year-old German man died overnight in the eastern town of Koethen and two Afghans have been detained on suspicion of killing him. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Anti-migrant protests in Germany will not deter migration flows to the country, Violeta Wagner, a senior project manager at the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) told Sputnik on Thursday.

Germany has seen a series of anti-immigrant rallies and counterprotests in recent weeks. Thousands of people, including right-wing activists, took to the streets of the eastern city of Chemnitz. Dozens of people have been injured and hundreds have been detained during the rallies, according to media reports.

"I don't think so. Of course, migrants look at which countries are more beneficial for them to travel to and Germany still stays a strong magnet. I don't believe Germany is such a magnet because of Merkel's immigration policy, I don't think that's the main reason. The main reason is that Germany needs migrants, there are jobs available for migrants and last but not least there are community reasons, family and friends who are already there. I don't think that this xenophobic or other issues that we witness now would be the main reason for migrants to stop coming to Germany," Wagner said on the sidelines of the Migration and International Law conference.

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In light of the protests, Wagner urged German right-wing politicians to be more cautious about the sentiments that they spread.

"I think that right-wing politicians should take responsibility for their statements because it's exactly what leads to the situation that happened in Chemnitz," Wagner added.

Germany has become one of the countries most affected by the migration crisis in Europe, which broke out in 2015 with a huge influx of people fleeing armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. Germany currently has the largest share of migrants in the total population among EU states — 12 percent, according to the World Population Review.

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