The 'secret' mass deportation plan
It’s not even the middle of January and we’re already in the thick of the action in what I have little doubt will be a decisive year in modern German history.
Farmers have blockaded motorways and intimidated politicians as part of their ongoing protests against subsidy cuts. They are even threatening to sabotage food supplies.
The government has already made concessions to the farmers, completely dropping one proposed subsidy cut and agreeing to introduce the other over three years. But the muddy wheels of protest are now in motion and the farmers seem to have swathes of the countryside on their side.
In the face of Houthi attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, the government has overturned a policy of not delivering deadly weapons to Saudi Arabia. It is a clear signal that Berlin is moving towards a foreign policy in the Middle East that is shaped by hard interests rather than values. The embargo on weapons sales to Riyadh was imposed following the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. But, in a sign of how much more vulnerable we now feel, the U-turn has been widely celebrated, even by liberal newspapers that would have shuddered at the idea a couple of years ago.
Left-wing firebrand Sahra Wagenknecht has made her new party official. It will still have the unwieldy name “Bündnis Sahra Wagenknecht - für Vernunft und Gerechtigkeit” and essentially combines left-wing social polices with a zero-tolerance stance on migration. The party is already polling at four percent and could be a joker in the pack at state elections this autumn.
Meanwhile, the former head of domestic security, Hans-George Maaßen - also a loud critic of current migration levels - has announced plans to start another party to the right of the CDU. Ballot papers this autumn will be long.
There was an even bigger story this week, though.
The investigative website Correctiv claimed to have revealed a “secret plan” that the far-Right AfD have been plotting with neo-Nazis to deport millions of people including German citizens who “haven’t integrated properly.”