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Pegida take to Dresden streets – to march against Pegida

On Monday evening followers of the xenophobic Pegida movement marched in two factions in the capital of Saxony, brandishing fierce accusations of treason against one another.

Pegida take to Dresden streets - to march against Pegida
Pegida demonstrators. Photo: DPA

The anti-Islam Pegida movement has been marching every Monday evening in Dresden since their inception almost two years ago.

But while it has until this point managed to remain solid in its consensus that Muslim immigrants and the politicians who allowed them to enter Germany are the enemy, a split at the party summit meant that this time the accusations were aimed at members of their own movement.

Around 60 followers of Tatjana Festerling, the former co-leader of the movement, congregated at the central station to protest against Pegida founder and leader Lutz Bachmann.

Meanwhile a more sizeable group of around 2,500 people joined Bachmann’s traditional protest, which accused Festerling of causing division within the movement.

Close by one another, personal insults flew between the two groups including accusations of being Volksverräter (traitors to the people), an insult normally reserved for Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel.

Threats of physical violence were also heard.

Speaking to his followers, Bachmann asked if he still had their support, and received loud approval. He then asked the crowd to raise their hands if they believed Festerling should resign from her position as spokesperson of the far-right “Fortress Europe” movement.

Festerling responded by accusing Bachmann of being a “megalomaniac”, saying that she saw it as her duty to “save what can be saved” from the movement.

Bachmann in turn repeated an accusation that Festerling had been embezzling donations.

The dispute between the two movement leaders came into the open earlier in September in embarrassing style when Festerling revealed that Bachmann had left Germany for the Spanish island of Tenerife.

She claimed that he only came back every couple of weeks for “a show of resistance” at the Dresden marches.

Bachmann defended himself at the time by claiming that he was pursuing work opportunities on the sunny island, adding that his wife felt unsafe in their home outside Dresden after people had attempted to break into it on several occasions.

CULTURE

Pay women footballers the same as men, says German chancellor

Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday made a push for equal pay for men and women international footballers after Germany's successful run at the recent European Championships.

Pay women footballers the same as men, says German chancellor

“My position on this is clear,” Scholz said after a meeting with the German Football Association (DFB) to discuss the issue.

“We talked about how we can continue to help more girls and women get excited about football. Of course, the wages at such tournaments play a major role in this,” he said.

“That’s why it makes sense to discuss equal pay. I made the suggestion and I’m very grateful that there is a willingness to discuss this issue.”

Germany scored their biggest major tournament success since 2015 at this year’s European Championships, losing to England in the final at Wembley.

Scholz attended the final and also supported the women’s team by tweeting: “It’s 2022, and women and men should be paid equally. This also applies to sport, especially for national teams.”

READ ALSO: Scholz to cheer on Germany at Euro 2022 final

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) visits the DFP headquarters on Tuesday.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) visits the DFP (German Football Association) headquarters on Tuesday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sebastian Gollnow

Germany’s women would have received €60,000 each if they had triumphed at the tournament, while the men would have received €400,000 each had they prevailed at the Euros last year.

Bernd Neuendorf, president of the DFB, said he understood the argument “that equal work and success should also have the same value”.

“I’m willing to discuss in our committees whether our payment system is up to date or whether it should be adjusted,” he said.

Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg suggested that international footballers’ wages could be evened out by paying women more and men less.

Officials must now “follow up with action” after the meeting, she said in an interview with the ZDF broadcaster.

Scholz said he was “very, very proud” of the women’s performance at the Euros, even if “it didn’t quite work out”.

“I hope it will have a long-lasting effect, not only on the players themselves… but also on football in Germany,” he said.

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