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Merkel ally: 'Enlightened patriotism' part of German culture

Associated Press logo Associated Press 30/04/2017
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere attends a press conference on the crime statistics 2016 in Berlin, Germany, Monday, April 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) © The Associated Press German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere attends a press conference on the crime statistics 2016 in Berlin, Germany, Monday, April 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN — A senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's party says "enlightened patriotism" should be part of Germany's national culture.

Thomas de Maiziere, Germany's interior minister, says Nazi-era nationalism and the hesitancy that followed "are all over now, especially for the younger generation." He is proposing ten principles for German identity amid a debate about the country's identity during a time of mass immigration.

Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats are hoping for a fourth election victory in the Sept. 24 national vote but face competition from the nationalist, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party.

A survey of 2,439 voters published Sunday by the weekly Bild am Sonntag found Merkel's party leading the polls with 36 percent support, ahead of the center-left Social Democrats which had 29 percent. The survey had a 3 percent error margin.

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