Right Shows Might Germany's

Republikaners challenge the mainstream political parties

Like the New Hampshire primary in the U.S. presidential process, the March 7 local elections in Germany's Hesse state offer a preview of voter mood as parties prepare for a long run-up to federal elections. The Hessian mood, as it turns out, was bad. The far-right Republikaner party, led by a former SS soldier, won a shocking 8.3% with a campaign that blamed unemployment and housing shortages on an influx of foreigners. In Frankfurt, Germany's banking capital, Republikaners scored 9.5% and in some smaller towns up to 15%. Most of the right's gains came from the left. The Social Democratic Party...

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