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'Something is deeply wrong when the NPD is more successful than the FDP'
Photo: DPA

'Something is deeply wrong when the NPD is more successful than the FDP'

Published: 05 Sep 2011 15:46 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 Sep 2011 15:46 GMT+02:00

Is Chancellor Merkel’s centre-right alliance heading towards political oblivion? Commentators in The Local’s media roundup examine the impact of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania vote.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government was under pressure on Monday after suffering a drubbing in elections in her home state ahead of a key parliamentary debate on the latest eurozone rescue plan.

Her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) dramatically lost support, while her allies at the federal level, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), were turfed out of the legislature in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on Sunday.

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) came top of the poll and will be able to choose whether to form a coalition government with the CDU or with the hard-line socialist Left party.

The Greens also scored a notable victory, winning representation to the state parliament for the first time. This means the Greens are now represented in all of the country's 16 regional assemblies, as well as at the federal level.

It was the fifth time in six state elections this year that Merkel's CDU has lost support. For the FDP, which scored just 2.7 percent of the vote, this was the fourth time this year the party was booted out of a state legislature. However, even the neo-Nazi NPD managed to win seats by winning six percent of poll marred by low voter turnout.

Voters appear to be worried by Merkel's management of the eurozone debt crisis and angry at internal squabbling within her coalition. According to an opinion poll released last week, four out of five Germans fear the current financial crisis will get worse and a large majority do not believe Merkel can do anything about it.

Newspapers in The Local’s media roundup on Monday explored the impact of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania poll both nationally and at the state level.

Berlin’s centrist daily Der Tagesspiegel said the Social Democrats had been the clear winners of this year’s series of state elections, but warned against assuming they would now effortlessly oust Merkel in the 2013 general election.

“The SPD is once again back on top, winning in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and plotting out its next victory in Berlin two weeks from now. The euphoric Social Democrats are already looking ahead towards September 2013. [But] a lot can happen in the coming 24 months. The SPD shouldn’t celebrate too soon; rather it should do its homework instead. In truth, the SPD put in a pretty average showing in super election year 2011.”

The conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung opined that the SPD’s strength was more the weakness of Merkel’s CDU.

“Do such (state) victories mean much for the federal level? At least in one way: The SPD can partner itself with everyone, but an alliance with The Left in a national election would be tantamount to a suicide mission.”

The Rostock-based regional daily Ostseezeitung said it had taken 20 years for the region to open up to the Greens’ message despite being heavily dependent on its natural beauty and tourism. But it voiced disappointment over the far-right extremist NPD winning seats in the state legislature of the economically depressed state on the Baltic Sea.

“That the NPD managed to stay in parliament hurts the image of the northeast and is a challenge to all democrats. But our state has become a little greener and a little less brown.”

However, Der Tagesspiegel said residents of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania needed to be more concerned about the far-right extremists in their midst.

“In a place that relies on tourism as its only economic factor, hatred of foreigners – aside from its general repulsiveness, could become a economic worry.”

The centre-left Süddeutsche Zeitung also said the continuing success of the neo-Nazi party in the northeast of Germany was deeply disturbing.

“The problem how to undermine support for this party remains elusive. It has a notable core of voters – a problem seen in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and in Saxony, where it was won seats for the second time in row. Not even dropping unemployment helped. Something is deeply wrong in a society when the NPD has greater success in a state election than the FDP.”

The Local/AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

21:14 September 5, 2011 by mikhal
...
21:37 September 5, 2011 by lordkorner
I know someone(above) who should join the raving loony party......
01:37 September 6, 2011 by yourholiness
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
10:50 September 6, 2011 by Asgarli
Most of Kriminelle Auslandern have German citizenships :))
15:00 September 6, 2011 by MIKHAL_RETURNS
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:26 September 6, 2011 by Wise Up!
In times of trouble, Germany again turns to extreme politics. The Left party and NPD are one and the same. Both derived from dictatorships and are still stuck in a pre-WWII mentality.
12:05 September 7, 2011 by _JD
That's funny, I think the FDP are pretty extreme, and I'm not sure if all the Die Linke supporters in Saarland would agree that the party came from a dictatorship.
15:03 September 7, 2011 by Beachrider
Hmmmm. Not so different from the USA's rise of the Tea Party.

Could it be that we are back at 1959, again?

Ooooh, the 60s were tough to go through ONCE, we might be about to go through it again...
16:21 September 7, 2011 by Johnne
Why not? let them support the NPD so that foreigners can stop coming to their state.
20:54 September 7, 2011 by KeltoIberian67
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
22:42 September 7, 2011 by LiberalGuy
@Kell, so I guess that means we have to get rid of all the Birts and Americans out of Germany then. because the last leaflet I recieved from them, 2 weeks ago, claimed they were war criminals enslaving the German people with their military. I think most readers on here would find that a bit silly. You should take a moment to read some of their literature, you would be surprised some of the things they advocate. By the way do you realise that Austria is not a soverign nation in their eyes but part of the German empire (their words, not mine)
10:04 September 8, 2011 by BurberryKoenig
what about the local criminals - where should they be dumped in?
16:15 September 10, 2011 by dr.makni49
Worry about NPD? Descendants of Nazi era? How can you keep ridiculing own people for that long. Well, they have political thoughts and match them or excel them. More you would frown on them, more they would pick popularity.

Germany has lot to address the grievances, lingering on since WW-II ended. Would you expect that Germany should turn blind about the grieved people? If the answer is yes, then sure NPD would win more seats!!!
08:07 September 30, 2011 by JCBearss
@LiberalGuy

I needed a laugh this morning your info on that topic provided that. I tend to view the extreme parties in the FRD as a perfect example of true freedom at work. If people are free enough to voice stupid opinions then hence they are free enough to have good sound logical thought as well, without fear of reprisal
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