Members of Olaf Scholz's left-wing Sozialdemokratische Partei (SPD) are begging the chancellor to crack down on mass migration. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


German left-wingers beg Scholz for mass-migration ‘crackdown’


Members of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s left-wing Social Democratic Party (SPD) are pleading with him to crack down on mass migration.

Politicians are also looking for Scholz to shift rightwards on issues such as the country’s “green” agenda in the hopes of routing the populist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), which is now routinely outperforming all left-wing parties in national polling.

Speaking to German media on Janaury 16, SPD MP Axel Schäfer said it was now up to the Chancellor to undermine support for the AfD by moderating Government policy.

“We must become more realistic on the issue of migration and take into account the need to limit it,” Schäfer said, adding it was now “pivotal” that the SPD change its approach regarding the issue.

He accepted such a shift would likely bring Scholz into conflict with the Greens, with whom the SPD is in coalition, but he argued that battle was now necessary “considering recent events”.

“We have to be bolder when it comes to limiting migration and accept the conflict with the Greens,” Schäfer said.

“I’m absolutely sure: Olaf Scholz can do it.”

Such sentiments were echoed by Andreas Stoch, a senior SPD member from Baden-Württemberg, who also urged the Chancellor to think twice about some of the party’s anti-climate change measures.

“Scholz needs to engage in more social dialogue before decisions like the heating law or agricultural subsidies are made,” he said.

“He should look into his heart a little more and more clearly declare the points in favour of these measures and the points against them.”

The suggestions that Scholz should pull back from supporting mass migration comes amid continued poor polling for the party across Germany, with right-wing groups now regularly eclipsing it.

Recent farmers’ protests against the Government only appear to have worsened the situation. Scholz has seen his popularity tumble, seemingly as a result of the disruptive demonstrations.

Populist groups have benefited from the increasing political instability in the country. The AfD and the recently launched populist-left Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance (BSW) are seeing a surge in support.

That is not only concerning the country’s mainstream left-wing parties. Members of the Christian Democrats are also increasingly keen to find common ground with the SPD in the hope of curbing the growth of populism.

“A joint effort by the democratic parties is needed to overcome the challenges of our time,” Kai Wegner, the party’s governing mayor of Berlin said.

He is now pushing for the SPD in particular to “moderate its attitude” towards immigration so as to undermine public interest in the AfD, calling the party a threat to Germany’s “basic democratic order”.

“We finally have to change course when it comes to migration policy,” Wegner said.