German election 2017: Politicians reach out to migrants from Russia
As Germany gears up for a general election in September, politicians are reaching out to migrants from Russia in an effort to tap what is seen as a long-neglected group of voters.
Berlin: As Germany gears up for a general election in September, politicians are reaching out to migrants from Russia in an effort to tap what is seen as a long-neglected group of voters.
Chancellor Angela Merkel was hosting a private reception for representatives of ethnic Germans who emigrated from the former Soviet Union, particularly from the late 1980s onward. It is the first such meeting between Merkel and members of the Russlanddeutsche, or Russian-Germans, in recent years, said her spokesman. Merkel, who is running for a fourth term on 24 September, speaks fluent Russian.
The arrival of some 2.2 million Russlanddeutsche over the past 30 years tested the country's ability to assimilate large numbers of migrants, with mixed success. "This is a noteworthy group within the German population," Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told reporters in Berlin ahead of the meeting. "Where did integration work, where is it still lacking? Those are possible questions for this conversation."
The Christian Social Union, Merkel's conservative allies in Bavaria, and the nationalist Alternative for Germany party, have already put up online ads and posters targeting Russian-speaking voters in Germany. Senior members of both parties have also visited Moscow to meet Russian officials, whose conservative views are shared by many Russian speakers in Germany.
German officials have expressed concern that Russia might try to influence Germany's election, including through misinformation in Russian-language media.
One oft-cited case involved the alleged kidnapping and rape of a teenage girl in Germany early last year that sparked outrage among the Russian-German community. Police concluded that the incident hadn't happened the way it was reported in Russian-language media and German officials have cited it as an example of what is perceived to be a "propaganda war" waged by the Kremlin.
The Germans still need to win their last group match to have a chance of advancing to the knockout stage. The four-time champions were eliminated in the group stage four years ago in Russia.
Spain vs Germany, FIFA World Cup 2022 Highlights: Full time and it ends all level between Spain and Germany, two of the heavyweights in global football. Germany earn their first point of this World Cup, but remain bottom of Group E, while Spain maintain top spot with four points.
FIFA World Cup rules require that equipment such as captains' armbands must be authorized and provided by FIFA, but Neuer said he will wear the "One Love" design even if it comes with a fine.