12:45 GMT06 March 2021
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been accused by the chairman of Austria's Freedom Party (FPO) of being "the most dangerous politician in Europe."

    A couple stands behind a fence as refugees and migrants wait to cross the Greek-Macedonian border near the town of Gevgelija on March 3, 2016.
    © AFP 2021 / Dimitar Dilkoff
    Heinz-Christian Strache, chairman of the extreme right-wing FPO party, told a crowd who had gathered to celebrate Austria's National Day in Vienna that Merkel's policies were "criminal" in that she had allowed unrestricted numbers of migrants into Germany, putting the rest of Europe at risk.

    The leader of the FPO party, which has seen its popularity increase during the ongoing migrant crisis, makes no secret his, or the party's anti-migrant rhetoric and agenda.

    "She [Merkel] is the most dangerous politician in Europe. With her welcoming policy she opened the door for Islamists, poor immigrants and soldiers of fortune, whose worldview does not fit into modern Europe," Strache said.

    Merkel recently admitted she made mistakes in her pre-2015 refugee policy during a speech in September. Following stricter border controls, the influx has slowly depleted from approximately 3,500 a day to around 200.

    ​'Criminal'

    Anti-migrant feelings are running high and trust in Angela Merkel is running low in Germany, following unprecedented numbers of refugees arriving into the country. German polls currently place Mrs. Merkel's ruling Christian Democrat Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU) coalition at 30 percent, dropping from 41 percent in the 2013 election.

    Right-wing anti-immigration party, Alternative for Germany, (AfD), remains at 13 percent, however securing 15 percent of the vote in March in Baden-Wurttemberg, winning ground from the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

    Not content with just calling Angela Merkel a "criminal" and "the most dangerous politician in Europe," Strache did not rule out a civil war in Europe as a consequence of Germany's migration policy.

    "These are people coming to us who do not even think about integrating. Ethnic and cultural external immigration should never have been allowed to exceed a certain limit," Strache said.

    Meanwhile, prosecutors in Vienna are looking into charges made against Heinz-Christian Strache over posts on his Facebook page that could be inflammatory under Austrian law and may not have been removed fast enough by him or his team.

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    Tags:
    migrant, influx, anti-immigration protests, migrant crisis, asylum seekers, far-right, refugees, Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Austrian Freedom Party (FPO), Alternative for Germany (AfD), Heinz-Christian Strache, Angela Merkel, Germany, Europe, Austria
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