Right-Wing Extremism

Xenophobia Has Economic Consequences

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Mounting xenophobia in former East Germany means it is failing to attract enough skilled workers, a trend which could further slow the region’s development.

  • Facts


    • The commissioner for former East Germany, SPD politician Iris Gleicke, has called for an investigation into xenophobia in the former GDR and its economic consequences.
    • Xenophobic movements such as PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, have gained strong followings in some regions of Germany including the East.
    • Unemployment is higher than average in former East Germany and some posts for skilled workers cannot be filled because people don’t want to move there.
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Asylfeindliche Aufmärsche in Brandenburg
Xenophobia has economic consequences. Source: DPA [M]

Right-wing enemies of the state are emerging from the shadows of criminality with increasing boldness.

To anyone who cares about constitutional order, this must be evident ever since the series of murders by the far-right NSU terrorist group emerged in 2011.

Not a day goes by without worrying news reports about “Reich citizens,” PEGIDA followers, hooligans, the “identitary movement” and arch-conservatives gone crazy.

On German unification day in 2016 in Dresden, 200 demonstrators, most of them followers of the anti-Islam PEGIDA movement, insulted our country’s leadership, shouting “away with Merkel,” “traitors to the people” and “get out of here!” Apparently, you can now insult the chancellor or president without the police intervening. That isn’t only the case in Eastern Germany, but it’s especially true there.

The government has now commissioned a study about right-wing extremism and its economic impact in Eastern Germany. What it will find can already be described today. Xenophobia, right-wing extremism and intolerance are endangering economic development. Who wants to work or invest in a German state and be surrounded by people with such a crude worldview?

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