Sahra Wagenknecht, the leader of Germany’s Stand Up movement © Reinhard Krause / Reuters
The leader of Germany’s Left Party Sahra Wagenknecht has launched a new political movement called ‘Stand Up,’ which aims to be a voice for workers and to unite a divided left across Europe.
While left-wing and not against immigration on principle, the new ‘Aufstehen’ movement presents a case for limiting the number of migrants coming to Germany looking for work, arguing that “unlimited access” to the German labor market is unsustainable and cannot continue.
“There have to be open borders for the persecuted, but we certainly can’t say that anyone who wants to may come to Germany, claim social benefits and look for work — it’s detached from reality,” Wagenknecht said.
Sevim Dagdelen, a German MP and supporter of Stand Up, told RT that the movement had close relationships with other left-wing figures like Bernie Sanders in the US, as well as supporters of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Jean-Luc Mélenchon in France.
Dagdelen says the left is “split and weak” across the whole of Europe and that there has been an obvious trend towards the right.
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“We would like to combine forces to make a progressive breakthrough,” she said. “The left should return to its core ideals and goals. Social questions should be the keystone.”
With polls showing people want “better pay, better pension, a non-confrontational foreign policy regarding Russia,” Stand Up wants to offer them a “political direction.”
Its goal, according to Dagdelen, is to present to people who were disillusioned with the current state of politics in Germany an alternative to the far-right Alternative For Germany (AFD). She says this is something the Social Democratic Party, the Green Party and the Left party had failed to do so far.
“The AFD is getting strong and there is a chance for them to become the people’s party, which is absurd,” she said, but admitted that it was “understandable” that some people were turning toward right wing parties when they saw no other option.
“Integration policy has pretty much rendered the minimum wage defunct. What was once a one euro job now only brings 80 cents,” she said. “People need to be able to earn a wage that lets them live in dignity. If this is not happening, it’s understandable that people become angry and lean towards right-wing parties.”
A new poll found as many as 34 percent of German voters would choose the new movement if elections were held, according to Focus.de.
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