The far-right Alternative for Germany rails against what it calls the “Islamisation of Europe” and denies it is racist.
Merkel agreed to put a number on how many people Germany would accept per year on humanitarian grounds, namely a net total of around 200,000 individuals.
His exit as the finance minister will help facilitate coalition talks with the pro-business Free Democrats in a fractious Bundestag lower house.
Anxiety runs high over international tensions and there is a fear that Germany’s economic security is under threat.
Merkel’s conservative bloc won 32.9% of the vote, down 8.6 points from the 2013 election, hitting its lowest level since 1949.
Merkel’s conservative bloc is on track to remain the largest group in parliament, opinion polls indicated.
A GMS poll on Thursday said 34% were not planning to vote or were undecided, higher than 29% who did not cast ballots in the last election.
Police initially arrested a Pakistani asylum-seeker near the scene, but released him without charge on Tuesday. Authorities have warned that the attacker is on the run and may be armed.
Although ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, authorities are following various leads.
Germany has seen protests against the deportations in recent weeks and critics say much of Afghanistan is not safe and that returnees might face reprisals.
The suggested start of Brexit negotiations doesn’t do Britain any favours, nor Germany, France or Italy.
Past research suggests governing parties often take a hit in mid-term regional votes before recovering in national contests.
Merkel’s CDU party slumped to its lowest level since 1990 in a Berlin state vote that rejected her open-door refugee policy.
In a humiliating defeat for Angela Merkel and her party in a state election, her pro-refugee policies may be the beginning of her end.
In her annual statement to the press, the German Chancellor insisted recent events would not change her stance on welcoming refugees.
Hate-speech and war-mongering are instruments of the populists, they are fiercely anti-European and therefore it is time to stop their ascent.