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Pig's head left outside Angela Merkel's office with 'insulting message'

A recent poll suggested half of Germans want Merkel out as Chancellor

Adam Withnall
Sunday 15 May 2016 09:14 BST
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) during a session of the German parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, 13 May 2016
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) during a session of the German parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, 13 May 2016 (EPA)

German police say a pig's head was left outside the constituency office of Angela Merkel, inscribed with an "insulting" message towards the Chancellor.

The incident took place at the entrance to Ms Merkel's office in the northeastern town of Stralsund, where she began her career in politics in 1990.

Officers confirmed the inscription was directed at Ms Merkel herself, but refused to say exactly what was written because a criminal investigation has been launched.

The pig's head was found outside the office in the early hours of Saturday, they said.

Ms Merkel remains the most powerful political leader in Europe, but her popularity at home has suffered in recent months.

A poll published last week by INSA suggested almost half of all Germans did not want her to stay in office for a fourth term after an election next year.

The dip in the Chancellor's popularity has in part been ascribed to her liberal policy towards refugees arriving in Europe. Last year, more than one million people made the journey from Africa, the Middle East and Asia to make new lives in Germany, many fleeing war and persecution.

But the impact has not just been on Ms Merkel's personal approval ratings. The INSA poll also showed a huge 17 per cent drop in support for the two parties which make up Germany's ruling "grand coalition", with voters increasingly moving away from establishment politics.

It suggests the popularity of the two Volksparteien - major parties - is at its lowest level since the end of the Second World War. A similar move away from established parties saw Austria elect a far-right, anti-immigrant gunslinger as president last month.

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