The elections last month in Berlin last month showcased the paradoxical situation in Germany today. The rise of the anti-refugee right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) makes conceivable what was not imaginable a few years ago: an alliance of the left-wing parties leading the government. Katja Kipping, 38-year-old co-secretary of the Linke, is committed to making that possibility a reality.
Secretary, first of all, can you explain the success of AfD across the country?
There are several factors. First, nationalism and racism are deeply rooted in a sector of the German population. Second, even if poverty is not an excuse for the racists, it must be said that neoliberalism has prepared the ground for right-wing populism, impoverishing large sections of society. And third, AfD has been reinforced by the behavior of the government of Angela Merkel, who has increasingly accepted its claims by tightening up the reception policies. She did it thinking that it would weaken AfD. The contrary happened.
How does Linke try to counter the right?