A populist politician’s remarks calling for police to be given powers to use firearms against illegal refugees has been dismissed by Germany’s Interior Ministry, pointing out that it would be illegal.
Leader of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, Frauke Petry, had fueled a heated debate about Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s doors to refugees while stating that police should use firearms against illegal refugees.
Interior Ministry spokesman Johannes Dimroth told a news conference on Monday, “no German policeman will use a firearm against people who are searching for protection in Germany.”
"And it goes without saying that the use of firearms against people to stop an illegal border crossing is unlawful."
On Sunday, Germany’s Vice Chancellor and the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Sigmar Gabriel said Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) should monitor the AfD.
The AfD belongs in the BfV report and not on television, Gabriel told the Bild newspaper.
"It is unbelievable that such parties may now excrete their slogans on public television."
The opposition Die Linke party had condemned Petry’s remarks but also criticised Gabriel for politicising the German intelligence agency.
Germany had adopted strict laws against incitement after the Nazi era, illustrating the depth of the issue that sits with increased debate about how to stem the flow of refugees after more than a million entered the country last year.
According to a poll conducted by Focus magazine, 40 percent of Germans want Merkel to resign due to her refugee policy.