• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Reporter sacked over Pegida 'interview'
Last week's Pegida protest in Dresden, which drew a crowd of 15,000 Photo: DPA

Reporter sacked over Pegida 'interview'

DPA/The Local · 22 Dec 2014, 15:23

Published: 22 Dec 2014 15:23 GMT+01:00

The incident emerged ahead of Monday night's weekly protest, which last week drew some 15,000 to demonstrate against the alleged Islamification of Germany, under the banner Patriotic Germans Against the Islamification of the West (Pediga).

RTL sent a reporter undercover to last week's protest, as the group refuse to speak to what they call the "media liars."

However, he was picked out of the crowd and interviewed by the national Panorama programme.

Instead of identifying himself - presumably for fear of the reactions of the rest of the crowd - he said on camera: "When you go out, there really are a lot of Turks. I get on with many of them fine, but it comes to the point where you think 'Are we really still German in Germany?"

It was only when the programme was broadcast on December 18th that former colleagues recognised the reporter.

Thomas Präkelt, head of RTL's eastern bureau, said the man had been fired. "Our employee made a mistake which is inexcusable, " he told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

"Our whole profession has been damaged."

It remains to be seen whether Monday night's turnout will continue the spectacular growth in the movement, which went from a few hundred at the start of October to 15,000 last week.

In a deliberately provocative piece of symbolism, the group chose Mondays to echo the famous Monday night demonstrations in nearby Leipzig, which helped toppled the communist regime in 1989, and march under the slogan "Wir Sind das Volk" (We Are The People) from that era.

Tonight's Pegida march is scheduled for 1830 at the theatre square in Dresden and advertises itself on Facebook as "Christmas with Pegida", offering Christmas Carol singing during the march.

Several other counter-demonstrations are planned, both in Dresden, and Munich, Kassel and other cities, while the Bishop of Saxony, Jochen Bohl, will offer prayers of peace in Dresden's Church of the Cross.

Meanwhile on Monday, the Federal Office for Migration revealed that the number of asylum seekers coming to Germany may rise next year.

"So far next year we expect 200,000 first-time applications, plus 30,000 follow-up applications," Manfred Schmidt, President of the Federal Office for Migration told dpa.

That compares with 200,000 for 2014, already a steep rise on last year.

Story continues below…

But he promised that an increase in reception facilities, combined with 350 extra new staff, should prevent some of the problems Germany has seen this year, such as the impromptu camps and squats in the centre of Berlin and Munich.

A series of high-profile politicians laid into the issue on Monday, ahead of the Pegida protest.

Former chancellor Gerhard Schröder called on more citizens to join the counter-protests. Calling for a "revolt of the decent", Schröder said "In Berlin we already had some 200,000 people marching against xenophobia and antisemtism ,and, of course, among those marchers were the president and the chancellor. Such a public demonstration we also need now."

Die Linke (Left party) state president Bodo Ramelow, who leads neighbouring Thuringia, said simply: "We have nothing to say to these racists in pinstripes."

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Germany says 'won't let anyone take Europe from us'
Steinmeier called the European Union “a successful project of peace and stability”. Photo: DPA

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Saturday that the EU would weather the shock of the British vote to leave the union as he convened crisis talks.

Brexit vote
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
A sign in Berlin's tech giant and startup-building company Rocket Internet. Photo: DPA.

London is currently thought of as the main hub for startups in Europe, but that will all turn around when the UK leaves the EU, tech industry experts say.

Brexit vote - Analysis
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
British Leave campaigners celebrate Brexit result. Photo: DPA

Britain leaving the EU means trouble ahead for Germany - and its hardest task will be convincing the Brits to drop a self-defeating ideology, a leading foreign policy expert told The Local.

How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Photo: DPA.

Considering a change of passport after the UK's vote to ditch the EU? Here’s how to do it.

Germany makes fracking verboten
A sign in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA.

German lawmakers approved a law that essentially bans fracking, ending years of dispute over the controversial technology to release oil and gas locked deep underground.

Brexit vote
German far right 'cries for joy' after UK votes to leave EU
Left to right: AfD's Beatrix von Storch and Frauke Petry. Photo: DPA

The far-right AfD party called for a "new Europe" and the resignation of the EU's top two politicians in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Brexit vote
Merkel: Brexit has cut into European unity
Angela Merkel at a press conference after the Brexit vote on Friday. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that the UK's decision to leave the EU has created a "cut in Europe" and the project of European unity.

Couple copulating on bridge shut down Autobahn
Kaiserlei Bridge in Frankfurt. Photo: Dontworry / Wikimedia Commons.

It was a highly unusual choice of location for a romantic rendezvous, police in Frankfurt point out.

Brexit vote
Germany: Brexit vote is a 'sad day for Europe'
A British flag along with other flags of European Union member countries flies in front of the European Council building in Strasbourg, France. Photo: EPA.

Top German leaders declared that it was a "sad day for Europe" after British voters opted to leave the European Union.

Viernheim hostage-taker wasn't carrying lethal weapon
A police officer stands guard in front of the cinema in Viernheim. Photo: DPA

The 19-year-old German man who took over a dozen people hostage in a cinema in western Germany on Thursday was carrying replica weapons, prosecutors have confirmed.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Gallery
7 photos which show the aftermath of Bavaria's Autobahn bridge collapse
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sport
How to sound like an expert on German football this summer
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
Society
How pictures of footballers on chocolates made Pegida really mad
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
National
Bayer's Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
7,874
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd