In Sigmaringen, from the fear of decline to the fear of the migrant
The arrival of refugees appeased the demographic concerns of a region in full employment but brought up the AfD, the far-right party.
Paul is all the more persuaded that he “stopped reading the press” which “ no longer spoke the truth”. No, the hundreds of migrants who have arrived since 2015 in his small town of sigmaringen in the heart of Baden-Württemberg, one of the richest regions of Germany, are not going to solve the increasing shortage of labor of the surrounding businesses. “When we listen to Berlin, we are told that migrants are all pharmacists. But the reality is that they do not have diplomas and are illiterate. They are certainly not the ones who will save our pensions, “ assures the Hungarian by birth, 63 years old, arrived here just after the fall of the Wall, and now a German citizen.
An elaborate engineer of a local construction company, he refuses to give his name for fear of the reactions of his colleagues. With his wife, Judith, 49, also German-Hungarian, who arrived in 2010, who does not work and still speaks a hesitant German, they support without hesitation the party of extreme right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD; Germany) – “The only party that can save us from the disaster of Islamization. “ In this aging and rich fief of the CDU, Angela Merkel’s party, the AfD made a breakthrough in the 2016 regional elections.
Judith and her husband see no contradiction in attacking refugees who are housed in the same center as Paul, 25 years earlier, when he fled his country and that the German authorities had assigned to Sigmaringen.
“Over time, we will adapt”
Both of them came on Tuesday evening to the campaign meeting of the local candidate for the legislative elections of 24 September. The local candidate gathered about a hundred people in the central square of the city, under the supervision of the police. Around fifty counter-demonstrators, including more young people and women.