German Opposition Parties Rise in Poll, Merkel’s Coalition Drops

Support for two German opposition parties not represented in parliament rose as criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s handling of Europe’s refugee crisis mounted.

Backing for the Free Democrats, Merkel’s former coalition partner, and the anti-euro Alternative for Germany party each increased 1 percentage point to 5 percent in a weekly poll, the Bild am Sonntag reported, citing an Emnid poll it commissioned. The threshold for parliamentary representation is 5 percent of the votes.

All parties represented in the lower house of parliament shed 1 percentage point, with Merkel’s Christian Union bloc dropping to 40 percent, her Social Democrat coalition partner to 24 percent, the Greens to 10 percent and the Left party to 9 percent. Emnid polled 1,882 people from Sept. 10 to 16. No margin of error was given.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere should resign if he fails to speed up the processing of asylum requests from as many as 1 million refugees expected to come to Germany this year, the newspaper cited Ralf Stegner, an SPD deputy party leader as saying.

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