I sat and watched Channel One (ARD) German news last night. The odd episode carried was that the head of the SPD political party....Sigmar Gabriel....ended up coming into a public forum to hear commentary from Pegida folks in Dresden.
Two hundred folks in attendance....mixed crowd....pro-Pegida and anti-Pegida members.
It's been strongly hinted that open dialog is necessary, and what can be said of the meeting is that everyone had a chance to complain, whine, or state their issue.
When you get down to basic facts....there are probably around five to ten issues that show problems and require some type of resolution....either now or in the future. The idea that it takes six to eight months to process immigration paperwork and approve or deny some guy or his family entry....well....it's stupid. It should not take more than six to eight weeks. Staying in some immigration half-way house compound, in marginal conditions.....is crap. We all tend to know that.
People have some fear, either rationally or irrationally that Sharia Law is slowly being accepted by political players or governments. That needs be settled and someone....either Chancellor Merkel or the Bundestag itself need to ensure the public that there's simply not going to be anything beyond the Basic Law structure, period.
Gabriel's visit? I would think the poll folks have found that some number of SPD members are charmed by the position of Pegida on some topics. If you found twenty-to-thirty percent of SPD voters might cross the line for the AfD.....that's a problem. So, Gabriel's visit is probably to show some willing nature to talk issues and find a couple that the SPD could agree on and disconnect the AfD charm situation.
This effort by Gabriel puts the CDU folks into a difficult position....they probably will also have to find someone to meet and be part of the new openness to Pegida's requirements.