Police have found a pig's head at the entrance to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's constituency office in the northeastern town of Stralsund. The symbolism of the use of pork is strong.
Regional police said the pig's head had an "insulting inscription" on it and had been found outside Merkel's constituency office in the Baltic seaside town of Stralsund, in northeastern Germany, in the early hours of Saturday.
A regional police spokesman said the insults were directed at Merkel, who was first elected to parliament in Stralsund 26 years ago.
According to police in Stralsund, a patrol car noticed the animal head on the footsteps of the Christian Democratic Union's (CDU) regional office at 5.40 a.m. local time (0340 UTC.
Police said they have opened an investigation into the incident. The perpetrators could be charged with violating a carcass-disposal law and could also face defamation charges.
Signs of the times
Merkel - who has been Chancellor of Germany since 2005 and the leader of the center right CDU party since 2000 - has seen her popularity fall in recent months. Her migrant policy has been reported as a key factor in changing attitudes.
Almost half of Germans do not want Merkel to stay in office for a fourth term after an election next year, according to an INSA poll published last Wednesday.
Merkel's migrant policies have also been contested by some members of her own party, as well as its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), which is pondering an independent campaign in the 2017 election.
A similar pattern
Similar incidents have taken place in Germany in recent months, in which pork - forbidden for Muslims - has been used by anti-immigration activists to express antipathy to migrants and the government's asylum policies.
Last month, in April, several unidentified people threw two split pig heads at a cafe visited by refugees in the city of Lübeck.
In March, police found the remains of a pig at the entrance of a mosque in Gelsenkirchen in the west of the country.
A month earlier authorities discovered a dead pig on a plot of land on which a mosque is to be built in the city of Leipzig. A message on the carcass in red ink read “Mutti Merkel” ('Mommy Merkel").
There have been fires at some 45 refugee centers in Germany so far this year, according to the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).
jbh/jm (Reuters, AFP, dpa)