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.
One PEGIDA protester walks past police carrying gallows with noose marked "reserved for Angela Merkel" pic.twitter.com/LvrDRc2BBD— Frank Jordans (@wirereporter) October 12, 2015
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.
Since some people asked for a clearer picture of the "Angela Merkel" gallows at today's PEGIDA protest, here you go: pic.twitter.com/ef8TER5KAA— Frank Jordans (@wirereporter) October 12, 2015
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."