Leading economists are warning of dire economic consequences from the recent wave of anti-foreigner violence in the eastern German state of Saxony, saying the incidents could eventually hurt Germany as a whole.
“Xenophobic violence can cause massive economic damage; it is already hurting the economy of the entire state of Saxony,” Marcel Fratzscher, the president of the German Institute of Economic Research, told Handelsblatt. “Saxony will pay a heavy economic price for the anti-foreigner attitudes of some of its population.”
Last week, in Clausnitz near the Czech border, an angry mob blocked a bus from bringing asylum seekers to a residential center. Police were criticized after manhandling frightened refugees out of the bus. In Bautzen, onlookers cheered as a building intended to house refugees burned to the ground in a suspected arson attack.
The incidents were the latest in a series of violent anti-migrant protests in the eastern state, whose capital is Dresden. In the most serious incident, in August of last year, right-wing radicals laid siege to a building housing migrants, attacking police with stones and fireworks.
The cities of Dresden, Freiberg and Meerane have seen comparable attacks.
While anti-migrant violence has surged across Germany, Saxony seems particularly badly hit. According to the research group Media Service Integration, 20 percent of all attacks in 2015 took place in Saxony, which has a population of 4.3 million.