04:39 GMT +326 June 2019
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    Supporters of the German right-wing movement PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident) hold up a poster showing German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a uniform with an Euro-logo-armband as they attend a PEGIDA rally on June 1, 2015 in Dresden, eastern Germany.

    Up to 9,000 Protesters Attend Pegida Anti-Refugee Rally in Dresden

    © AFP 2019 / JENS SCHLUETER
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    Some 7,500-9,000 residents of the German city of Dresden attended a Pegida anti-refugee rally on Monday, local media reported citing organizers’ estimate.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Pegida, an acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, began organizing rallies in its home city of Dresden in October 2014, attracting hundreds and later thousands of supporters.

    According to the Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten newspaper, Tatjana Festerling, the Pegida candidate in the Dresden's mayoral elections who was supported by some 10 percent of the voters in June, called on the federal state of Saxony to seek independence from Germany and the European Union, criticizing Berlin at the rally for its refugee welcoming policy.

    Germany is the main destination for the majority of asylum seekers who are fleeing conflicts in Syria and other conflict-torn regions of the Middle East and North Africa. Berlin has granted asylum to some 600,000 people since the start of the year, with an estimated 10,000 refugees crossing into the country every day, according to the Foreign Ministry.

    Europe is currently experiencing the largest migrant flow since World War II. According to predictions by German media, the country could expect an influx of about 1.5 million refugees in 2015, well over a previously announced official forecast of 800,000.

    On Friday, authorities of the southern German state of Bavaria slammed Chancellor Angela Merkel for "not doing enough to address the crisis on the southern German border."

    Topic:
    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

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    protest rally, Pegida, Germany, Dresden
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