Chancellor Angela Merkel got an early taste of the kind of reception she can expect from her populist opponents after a truck careened into a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people in what her government said was probably a terror attack.
“These are Merkel’s dead,” Marcus Pretzell, chairman of the Alternative for Germany party in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, posted on Twitter, eliciting a chorus of rebuttals. A vice chairman of the Social Democrats, Ralf Stegner, called the comment “unbelievable and disgusting.”
The response from the anti-immigration party that’s polling in third place nationally underscores the pressure on the German leader to calm a jittery nation as investigators seek to piece together the background to the presumed attack in the capital.
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