The Alternative for Germany (AfD) parliamentary leader has taken a swipe at Angela Merkel’s ‘migrants welcome’ policies, saying that women and girls are now afraid to walk the streets alone for fear of being attacked.

Alice Weidel took to the spotlight in the Bundestag on Wednesday, accusing the chancellor of wrongfully conducted migration policies. “Every year, we spend money on the fight against the right… but women and girls no longer even dare to walk the streets alone for fear of attacks by so-called seekers of protection,” Weidel said.

Merkel seemed unfazed, however. A strong defender of ‘refugees welcome’ strategies took her usual tone, defending the migration agreement. “We have to solve migration internationally. No country can do it alone,” she told Weidel.

The UN-backed pact promoting an international approach to safe and orderly migration is due to be formally approved December 11-12 in Marrakech, Morocco. The upcoming accord has split global powers, with Austria, Hungary, the US, Israel and several other states rejecting the pact. Its critics claim that the deal is inadequate for managing global migration flows.

Migration has long contributed to plummeting support for the chancellor and her ruling coalition. “The problem with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is migration policies conducted by Merkel,”Dr Werner Patzelt, a political science professor at the Technical University of Dresden believes. For many years now, German voters “have revolted against these politics” and they voted for the AfD and defected from the CDU, he added.

Recent blows to Merkel’s coalition included the outcome of elections in Bavaria and Hesse. It suffered an electoral shock, winning record low votes in both states.

Speaking about the Hesse results, Hugh Bronson, an AfD member of the Berlin parliament, said that the elections were “a disaster for German mainstream politics,” and migration was one of the reasons. “The mainstream parties don’t want to talk about [migration]. But it’s a fact that the ordinary German in the street is confronted with every single day.” He thinks that “open borders, refugees welcome, no nation… has estranged people,” who are now looking for different answers.

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