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Many Germans could back anti-euro party

Published: 11 Mar 2013 16:46 GMT+01:00

An emerging anti-euro party could attract up to 26 percent of voters, the results from polling company Emnid published in Focus magazine on Monday, showed. The most likely supporters were aged between 40 and 49, with four out of ten of voters of this group wanting to see Germany leave the euro.

The anti-euro feeling is to be found in all political parties, the poll suggested, with 17 percent of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) supporters expressing the view that Germany should leave the common currency. Nearly a third of those who support coalition partner the Free Democratic Party, would also be tempted by an anti-euro party.

Of those identifying themselves as Social Democratic Party supporters, 15 percent said they would be tempted by an anti-euro party, while 27 percent of Green supports might follow suit. Those most likely to vote that way were Left party supporters, 57 percent of whom told pollsters they supported a German exit from the euro.

And even if this support does not immediately translate into actual votes, it should not be ignored, said Emnid boss Klaus-Peter Schöppner.

"With 26 percent we're talking about a relatively high number. It's a clear indication that there is potential for a new protest party here in Germany," he told Focus.

The newly-established "Alternative for Germany" (AfD) group plans to harvest this resentment against the costs to Germany of the euro and is confident of gathering the 2,000 or more signatures in each of Germany's 16 states needed to become a recognised party by mid-April.

AfD founder Bernd Lucke, previously a long-term member of the CDU, told Focus the task was not "doing his head in". His supporters include Joachim Starbatty, author of a book called Crime Scene Euro, and Stefan Homburg, professor of public finance at Hannover University.

Although a self-professed ardent European, 83-year-old Starbatty has argued that the euro did more to drive Europeans apart than it did to bind them together.

Another party seeking support from voters disillusioned with mainstream politics is the Freie Wähler or Free Voters party, which portrays itself as an alternative to the euro-saving rhetoric of most parties, and enjoys popularity in southern regions.

Frontrunner Stephan Werhahn, grandson of Germany's first chancellor Konrad Adenauer was a member of the CDU, which his grandfather co-founded, until last year when he left in protest against introduction of the European Stability Mechanism.

But far from contemplating defection, most known euro-sceptics within mainstream parties have been working hard to drum up support among their colleagues.

CDU members Wolfgang Bosbach, Klaus-Peter Willsch and Peter Gauweiler from the Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union, as well as Frank Schäffler from the FDP have been fighting to build majorities within their parties against what they deem bad government policy.

"All opposed to this should join the FDP and change the majority there," Schäffler told Focus. "Our members' vote against the ESM was only 2,000 short of changing the party majority."

He said he did not believe the anti-euro parties would achieve much. "A party must offer more than simple protest against a singular issue," he said.

The Local/mjl

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:32 March 11, 2013 by IchBinKönig
1/4 is just the beginning. Sounds like the Tea Party! Who knew there were so many 'Raaaaacists' in Germany.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
19:01 March 11, 2013 by Repatriated
@ IchBin Koenig:

I don't think you understand the definition of "Racist." Please refer to Webster.

Don't you get tired of Germany carrying the brunt of the financial burden to bail out those countries that don't know how to balance their national budget and whose work ethics are not in the same league as Germany?
19:33 March 11, 2013 by IchBinKönig
@ Repatriated

I was being sarcastic. In the USA, anybody that disagrees with the Bailout/Debt/Krugman paradigm is labeled a Racist. It makes it easy for the Liberals to demonize anybody with a differing point of view. Websters? The name they call you doesn't have to actually make any sense, duh.
20:10 March 11, 2013 by Brint
"A party must offer more than simple protest against a singular issue," he said."

Virtually word for word what's been said about the 'UK Independence Party' by the British main stream political parties, however nowadays they're not sounding quite so self assured.
21:59 March 11, 2013 by Bigfoot76
It is all coming to an end at some point. Sooner or later the UK and Germany will bail out because one side is not getting to have as much say as they want and the other side is carrying too many countries on its back. Still some things will remain the same, Germany will always trump England on the pitch.
22:16 March 11, 2013 by pepsionice
A bunch of folks get a poll and just throw out an answer. There just isn't enough interest to give this new party a quarter of the votes in the fall. They still have to get 2k signatures from each German state to qualify, and at best.....they might get around seven percent of the national vote in the fall....taking mostly from FDP and CDU.
23:36 March 11, 2013 by Istabraq
'Many Germans could back anti-euro party'

And even more non-Germans could back the anti-euro party
00:50 March 12, 2013 by smart2012
Well done Verkel, u were able to dissatisfy other eu partner + your own population. Your policy has brought all eu to a disaster, including struggling Germany..

I am still in Munich and I see so many shops closing..
02:05 March 12, 2013 by Blackrainbow
We back anti euro party, I am non german, But I support anti euro party.
03:46 April 22, 2013 by Hendrich Stein
After the initial shock to banks, the best thing for Germany and the rest of Europe would be for Germany to leave the euro. Why don;t more see this, or is the shock to the banks in the short term that much more pressing than the longer term benefits to all.
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