One year on from election, far right has transformed German politics

Taking up 92 seats in the lower house of parliament, the country’s largest opposition party uses every chance it gets to rail against immigration, Islam and especially Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The combative rhetoric, some of it unthinkable until a few years ago, has at times stunned seasoned lawmakers. But the tactic appears to be paying off.

Recent surveys suggest the AfD would garner 18 percent of votes if elections were held now, second only to Merkel’s centre-right CDU, itself weakened by the rise of the far right.

“The parliamentary culture is now more confrontational,” said Paul Nolte, a history professor at the Free University of Berlin…

The AfD’s success caused a political earthquake in Germany, where no far-right party had had a large-scale presence in the Bundestag since the end of World War II.

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