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    A German left-wing politician has launched a cross-party movement dubbed 'Stand Up' in a bid to counter Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government.

    This comes as Germany’s right-wing AfD party has overtaken the center-left Social Democrats, according to results of an INSA opinion poll, following weeks of violent protests by the right-wing protesters.

    Sputnik discussed this with Dr. Jochen Staadt, a political analyst and head of the Free University of Berlin's research team on the German Democratic Republic.

    Sputnik: What's your take on this new movement called 'Stand Up'? What do you think about its prospects?

    Dr. Jochen Staadt: As we see, they have (gained) over 100,000 supporters in a short time and they have some people who were before politicians in the Green party and in the Social Democratic Party. It looks like they can find support as well among disappointed members and followers of the Greens and also of the Social Democratic Party.

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    Sputnik: So what's your feeling then? Can this development impact the current position of the left-wing parties in Germany and can it help the left create a united front?

    Dr. Jochen Staadt: I think the aim is to create something like a united front from below or a popular front from below, because leaders of the Social Democratic Party and also of the Greens refused this movement of, Sahra Wagenknecht, the left-wing popular figure and said they will not support it, and also leading people of The Left party will not support it.

    After tries to create movements like that throughout the history of West Germany before the reunification, we have now people supporting this new movement who have a long tradition in trying to create a strong united left front.

    They will have some influence in the coming development but I don't think they will be able to create something that is more influential than the united left-wing coups and parties that have (existed).

    Sputnik: So how popular might this new movement be?

    Dr. Jochen Staadt: I thought at first that it was a temporary thing but they got a lot of press acceptance and information about this movement was (broadcast) through the media, and I think they will have time now in the next week, until the Bavarian election, where they will be part of the public discussion. What I don't think is that they will be able to get people back from the right-wing AfD because there is quite strong support on the side of the right-wing party. They have a growing number of supporters and they are stronger in the polls than the Social Democratic Party, and I think this flow will not be stopped by a left unity front.

    Sputnik: Now as you are aware, the CSU has been taking a firmer stance on migration recently in a bid to secure votes. How can this development impact their position? Could it impact it?

    Dr. Jochen Staadt: I think the mistrust also in Bavaria is very strong towards the ruling party and their representatives. In Bavaria the right-wing party is in the polls nearly 15%, that was incredible in Bavaria in the times before, because CSU always was the ruling party and the party with strong support in the countryside and in the cities. This changed, and I don't see that what happened when Mr. Seehofer became minister of interior and they got a new Bavarian minister president; for the people, in this short time, nothing really strongly changed.

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    Sputnik: Do you think it's likely that more anti-migration policies will be pushed by Merkel's Bavarian allies, is that the order of the day now?

    Dr. Jochen Staadt: Yes, I think it is, because we also have in the CDU and you hear the discussions after last events, the killing of one man, when you hear the discussion in CDU you hear that they say we have to do something in the field of migration and in the field of criminality by migrants. They say that in public, they say it in interviews and discussions, but the problem is people who are dissatisfied with this kind of migration we had, they don't trust the promises they hear in the media and this leads to the rising support for the right-wing.

    Sputnik: Now recent reports by the police is that they dropped the case of a 10-year-old boy being raped by a migrant (10-year-old) during a school trip, obviously, a very sad story, this, and it has led to public backlash to the handling of the situation, a very delicate situation no doubt; how can these developments impact the current migrant situation in the country?

    Dr. Jochen Staadt: Every little event, every little event in Germany that nowadays happens where migrants take part in criminality is increasing the distrust, it is one little point in the whole development that is leading to mistrust in the society, and that is splitting the society. In that case, the movement 'Stand Up' has the right point, because they point out that there is a split in the society and we have to do something.

    The views and opinions expressed by the contributors do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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