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DRESDEN, GERMANY (MARCH 16, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF SAXONY STATE PARLIAMENT IN DRESDEN EUROPEAN, GERMAN AND SAXONY FLAGS ALTERNATIVE FOR GERMANY (AFD) LEADER FRAUKE PETRY WALKING DOWN CORRIDOR (SOUNDBITE) (German) ALTERNATIVE FOR GERMANY (AFD) LEADER, FRAUKE PETRY, SAYING: "We have to acknowledge that the expectations were higher in regards to the PVV party. On the other hand, the PVV did gain some seats: roughly a third. Rutte's party lost a third of their seats. And the Social Democrats had an even more dramatic fall. They lost three-quarters of their last results and collapsed dramatically. There is much talk of an election victory but in the face of the losses suffered by the parties that actually only just won, that is a bit of an exaggeration. It just shows that some people are trying desperately to hold onto the idea that new parties, particularly those who are critical of the EU, can't generate majorities. Still, the whole election campaign was defined by Wilders' topics: migration, Islam, the future of the European Union. These are the topics that people care about and we in the opposition can create political pressure (to focus on these topics)." PETRY TALKING TO JOURNALIST (SOUNDBITE) (German) ALTERNATIVE FOR GERMANY (AFD) LEADER, FRAUKE PETRY, SAYING: "I think whenever you try to find a link to something it is always influenced by personal interests. Marie Le Pen has to conduct her own election campaign. She is working, of course, from a completely different starting point. They are presidential elections, not parliamentary elections like in the Netherlands. Germany also has its very own political climate. So it is difficult to make comparisons. What is clear is that we are seeing continuous losses among the established parties. We see that new parties are not always able to immediately - as was the case in Austria - to achieve an absolute majority. But it does show that we are finally experiencing a much more vibrant political discussion." CLOSE OF PETRY TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (German) ALTERNATIVE FOR GERMANY (AFD) LEADER, FRAUKE PETRY, SAYING: "You know that after an election everybody wants to declare themselves the victor. I am happy that Wilders didn't do this. Gabriel once again described Wilders as a right-wing extremist, which tells me a great deal about the political niveau of Mister Gabriel, who has also described his own people as the proletariat. think we can still be quite relaxed. We will see." PETRY TALKING TO JOURNALIST
Dateline: 2017

German Afd Leader Says Wilders Politics Defined Netherlands Election

Item ID: 110576522

By: Reuters

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