‘Merkel is putting up smokescreen!’ AfD attacks policies as it gloats about rise to power

The Social Democrats and Christian Democrats have lost touch with their core support base, while Angela Merkel is merely “putting up a smokescreen” with empty promises to reform migrant policies, Mrs Weidel said.

The SPD (the Social Democrats) officially agreed to form a coalition with the Christian Democats on Sunday, ending a five month political deadlock since the German election in September.

With the so-called grand coalition formed, the AfD have become the country’s main opposition party, after securing a meteoric surge in support due to its hardline migrant policies.

Mrs Weidel told the French daily Le Figaro: “According to national polls, we are now more popular than the SPD [centre-left Social Democrats] and have overtaken them as the second most powerful political force. The SPD is hot on our heels, yes, but there is a clear trend. Our policies are efficient.

“During the parliamentary election campaign people kept saying that AfD lawmakers would plunge the Bundestag federal parliament into chaos. But, in truth, the opposite has happened.”

When asked whether the AfD would consider toning down its radical rhetoric in order to widen its support base and become a “major” political party, she said: “The AfD is not a radical party. It is a liberal-conservative party. We fight for the respect of rules – rules that the government has continually flouted. [The non-respect of rules] has devastating consequences on social order, because it creates insecurity.”

The far-right leader also said that social democratic parties across Europe were losing their appeal because they were out of touch with their core support base.

She added: “When citizens no longer feel represented by a party, they stop voting for it. That’s what happened to the social-democrats. [Social democracy] no longer represents the interests of its support base – working-class voters. Many feel betrayed by the SPD.”

Mrs Weidel also slammed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migration policy, saying that the government’s pledge to clamp down on immigration was nothing but an empty promise.

She said: “The government is putting up a smokescreen. We’ve already been told that officials would increase the number of forced deportations. But nothing has been done.”

In September, the AfD became the right-wing populist party to enter Germany’s parliament in more than half a century.

The party sparked outrage during the parliamentary election campaign after it used posters featuring a pregnant woman under the slogan: “New Germans? We’ll make them ourselves”.

Another poster campaign showed women in traditional Bavarian dress holding wine glasses with the words: “Burka? I’m more into burgundy”.

The nationalist party vehemently rejects any comparison to the Nazis, saying its main concerns are battling mass immigration and the so-called “Islamisation” of the West, issues the party’s leaders believe are not being addressed by Europe’s mainstream politicians.