German interior minister Horst Seehofer called migration the “mother of all problems,” after taking some time to respond to far-right demonstrations in Chemnitz.
Seehofer, the CSU’s leader, made the remarks on Wednesday during a closed-door meeting, according to the Rheinische Post.
"Many people now associate their social problems with the issue of migration," he told the paper.
Chancellor Angela Merkel distanced herself from the comments telling: “I say it differently,” to the RTL broadcaster when asked to comment on the remarks made by Seehofer, who is also the leader of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU).
Merkel added: “Migration presents us with challenges and here we have problems but also successes.”
After the fatal stabbing of German-Cuban Daniel Hillig, 35, by suspected asylum seekers in late August following an altercation, the atmosphere in Chemnitz turned aggressive — sparking far-right protests, Nazi salutes by demonstrators, and xenophobic attacks made toward individuals who appeared to be migrants. The heated demonstrations, which attracted several thousand people, were hosted by anti-immigration party, Alternative for Germany (AFD) and the anti-Islam Pegida movement.
At the same time, many Germans pushed for solidarity against the far-right movement by hosting their own counter protests and holding an ‘anti-racism’ concert on Monday in Chemnitz that brought 65,000 concert goers together to rally against the recent attacks.