Home World Germany's far-right wins key immigration proposal as Leftist councillor 'goes for joint'

Germany's far-right wins key immigration proposal as Leftist councillor 'goes for joint'

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party secured a significant political victory in Saxony after a Leftist opposition councillor was absent during a crucial vote, citing his intention to consume cannabis.

The motion under discussion at the Dresden city council involved a proposal to provide asylum seekers with payment cards instead of cash for purchasing food and supplies. The proposal, put forward by the AfD, sparked heated debates within the council chambers.

After hours of deliberation, just before 6 pm, Max Aschenbeck, a member of the satirical “Dissident” party, publicly announced his absence on Twitter, stating: “I’m going for a joint.”

Cannabis is set to be legalised in Germany on April 1st.

However, by the time Aschenbeck returned to the town hall, the motion had passed by a narrow margin of 53 votes to 52. The unexpected outcome drew widespread attention, particularly due to the involvement of established parties such as the conservative Christian Democrats.

Voting in alignment with the AfD is considered taboo in postwar Germany, prompting Angela Merkel’s chosen successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, to resign in 2020 after similar incidents.

Despite efforts to uphold a political “firewall” against far-right influence, the AfD has been gaining traction in eastern Germany, securing mayoral and senior council positions.

Reacting to the controversial vote result, Friedrich Merz of the Christian Democrats acknowledged the substance of the decision but criticised the procedural aspects, promising an investigation into the local party’s actions.

The refugee crisis remains a contentious issue in German politics, especially in eastern regions grappling with budget constraints. Some independent councillors have voiced frustration, highlighting the strain on municipalities like Dresden, which have absorbed thousands of refugees.

As the country prepares for the upcoming European elections in June, migration policies continue to be a focal point of debate. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has hinted at nationwide implementation of payment cards for refugees, reflecting ongoing efforts to address migration challenges amid political tensions.


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