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Anti-euro party enters German election race

The Local · 17 Mar 2013, 12:34

Published: 17 Mar 2013 12:34 GMT+01:00

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With more than one in four Germans in a recent poll saying they would consider voting for an anti-euro party, the new group, "Alternative for Germany," is gearing up for a major push ahead of elections on September 22.

"We are constantly getting calls, letters or emails from people who want to

join or want to support us," said businesswoman Frauke Petry, head of communications at the party, which campaigns for Germany to leave the euro.

The party counts "more than 2,000 members and donors," a drop in the ocean compared to the nearly half a million Germans who are members of the two biggest parties, Merkel's conservatives and the opposition Social Democrats.

Its main aim now is to form regional groups in Germany's 16 states before holding a founding congress on April 14 in Berlin to elect its candidates for the vote in September.

Their first public meeting, in a well-to-do suburb of Frankfurt, the eurozone's financial capital and home to the European Central Bank, attracted some 1,200 people to listen to speeches about the disadvantages of the euro.

In the crowd were a large number of pensioners in their Sunday best, greying professors and liberal professionals, united in their belief that Germany has paid too much to keep the 17-nation eurozone afloat. The party's creation has roused a great deal of interest in the media both within Germany and abroad and is supported by Hans-Olaf Henkel, a former head of the BDI, the country's leading industry federation.

They are encouraged by a recent survey in Focus magazine showing that 26 percent of Germans would consider voting for an anti-euro party. This figure rises to 40 percent among those aged between 40 and 49.

The majority of the supporters would currently vote for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) or junior coalition partners, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), explained Petry. And the "Alternative for Germany" has not gone unnoticed at the senior echelons of the CDU.

"I take all political competitors seriously," said the head of the CDU parliamentary group Volker Kauder. "We need to explain to people that Germany's prosperity depends in large part on that of Europe ... any alternative to having the euro would be considerably worse for Germany," said Kauder. He judged the new party to be "institutionalised fear of the future."

Andreas Busch, a political science professor at Göttingen University said there was a "void" when it came to eurosceptic politicians in the German system with all major parties being strongly pro-euro.

However, he said that "all those who have attempted to fill this void have failed", recalling the rise and fall of a "pro Deutschmark" party at the end of the 1990s.

Another expert, political scientist Simon Franzmann from the University of Düsseldorf, said that Germany's relative prosperity at the moment would not help the new party's cause.

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The party "is campaigning on a purely economic topic but for the moment Germans are satisfied with the situation in the country and that compensates for their dissatisfaction vis-a-vis the euro," said Franzmann.

Moreover, the way the polls are looking in Germany, a vote for this party might risk opening the door to a more leftist coalition, noted Franzmann, something supporters would want to avoid "at all costs." "That's why they will in any case vote for the CDU or the FDP."

According to the latest polls, the CDU would win 40 percent of the vote if elections were held now but the FDP would scrape only five percent, meaning a grand coalition between the CDU and the SPD is still a possible outcome.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:05 March 17, 2013 by dusturn
Ah, ah!... Classic!!
13:20 March 17, 2013 by pepsionice
So let's work the scenario. The alternate folks end up with maybe ten percent of the national vote, and the CDU/CSU gets around 29 percent. It's enough to beat the SPD, who probably comes to around 27 percent.

But the problem now lies in who you get to be your partner to reach fifty percent. The Greens? They will barely get 13 percent, so they won't be enough. The FDP? If they are so lucky this time around, they will get barely seven percent, and even with the Greens as one partner and the FDP as another....it won't be enough for fifty percent.

Partner with the LInke Party? Never. Partner with the alternative party? Merkel just won't do it. So this scenario leads to only one partner, the SPD.

I believe this whole election will be about one topic, which the CDU doesn't want to really discuss....the Euro. And in the end....Germans are hit with some fake reality.....support the alternative party and then the SPD gets itself back into some portions of the government.

Our only hope? Help those Pirate Party kids....give them enough votes and help them partner up with the CDU and the Greens.
13:29 March 17, 2013 by liondens
Can they mimicking the 5 stars movement of Italy? This could work if they combinning the anti euro and immigrantion together, because it's hard for the lefties to accusing them of "right-wing extremists". Between 5-10% would a king maker!
13:30 March 17, 2013 by Steve1949
Staying with the Euro has cost the Germany billions already and there is still no light at the end of the tunnel. How much more do they want to through away. Germany was doing well even when the DM was still in use. The economy isn't as bright as everyone is coloring it. How many companies have been releasing thousands of employees. That's about all you see lately in the news. The unemployment figures are also a bunch of lies, The Euro wasn't a good idea when it was introduced, still isn't working well 14 years later and probably will only get worse in years to come.
13:52 March 17, 2013 by liondens
Do you hear that Anti-Euro Party? You can corner entire market of disenfranchised people if you combining anti-euro and anti-immigration together. You will be a refuge place for many people that don't believe and don't trust in the mainstream parties anymore. If the useless Green and Pirate parties can do it so can you, you will be a king maker.
13:53 March 17, 2013 by zeddriver
And that is precisely why most Americans balk at those such as the UN who are trying to form a one world government. Or an International court that would usurp the laws of sovereign countries. And now the Germans know what it feels like to be a middle to upper class American citizen surrounded by those that are always holding their hands out. expecting it to be filled with other peoples money. Then after wasting that money. Come back and demand more. And of course. Those wanting the handouts. Will always vote for the one's that promise to take other folks money and give it to them.
13:56 March 17, 2013 by raandy
Since the introduction of the Euro, Germany has gained competitiveness against other industrial countries as well as all other members of the euro zone.

Germany since the euro has gone from a small deficit to a large surplus.

Other members have lost competitiveness,increased there debt to GDP ratio.

Only Germany has really gained from the Euro.

If Germany was to return to the DM the currency would become a save haven and the value would rise significantly, as the Swiss Frank has. The competitiveness would take a major hit. There is no returning to the old currency it would be the mother of all disasters.
14:12 March 17, 2013 by liondens
Exactly! Swedish Kro is the strongest currency right now, meanwhile other countries with the euro are screwed!
14:40 March 17, 2013 by Englishted
The greedy undemocratic E.U. has only its self to blame for the rise of these parties throughout Western Europe ,because the people are sick of not being consulted on any important issues .

If this party ties in a stop to any expansion they are on a winner.
18:05 March 17, 2013 by smart2012
I strugge to understand.. Until 12 months ago I have heard Germans (and Bild and some economists) saying Germany is booming and germany is powerengine of europe. Why now 1/4 wants to get out of Europe? Maybe cause in Germany people struggle and r not happy? Guys, say thanks to all of this crap to Frau Verkel, she is destroying Europe and Germany
18:43 March 17, 2013 by Kennneth Ingle
Anti Euro does not mean anti European.

The problem is, that this common currency was introduced without a compatibility of taxes and social insurance within the member states. It is like a house without any substructure, just a little financial breeze and it falls apart.

Most normal Gerrmans have gained nothing from the Euro, because their savings have lost on purchasing power since the DM was taken away. Pensions also do not keep pace with the inflation, caused by printing so much paper money.
18:49 March 17, 2013 by IchBinKönig

You just don't get it. This Alternative Fur Deutschland is the OPPOSITE of what YOU, my dumb friend, have been suggesting all along. It might as well be known as the Anti-Smart2012 Party. Because as much as they are against the limited bailouts of Frau Merkel, they are 100% Certain they did not want EVEN MORE Bailouts as you constantly suggest. Thank you!
19:33 March 17, 2013 by ProgandaLady
"We need to explain to people that Germany's prosperity depends in large part on that of Europe ... any alternative to having the euro would be considerably worse for Germany,"

Sounds like somebody is part of the "institutionalised fear of the future." Are we then just dreaming the collapse of economies, Herr Kauder?

You Germans sure do have a enough Communist-era 'Doublespeak' coming from you 'Conservative' Politicians.

Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms (e.g., "downsizing" for layoffs, "servicing the target" for bombing [1]), in which case it is primarily meant to make the truth sound more palatable. It may also refer to intentional ambiguity in language or to actual inversions of meaning (for example, naming a state of war "peace"). In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth. Doublespeak is most closely associated with political language.[
21:55 March 17, 2013 by Leo Strauss
A lot of very switched on posters and insightful comments above, Local Peoples. Good to see that most of us are on the same page for once, as fellow serfs should be here in the BRD plantation. :) Now we have to start digging around a little bit to find out the as much as we can about this new party and the people behind it. If it is legit we shall soon see the army of German presstitutes and shills from the MSM attacking them with all that they have. A very good omen!
22:39 March 17, 2013 by Navigator_B
Many of the people rushing to join this new party will be conservatives and neo-liberals and people who believe everything they read in the Bild about scrounging lazy foreigners, but the party's web site ( https://www.alternativefuer.de ) puts the blame for the Euro crisis on the banks and other big investors and sees the other Euro-countries as victims of the Euro. 

Time will tell if the new members will change this message to a more populist xenophobic one before the general election in September.
00:51 March 18, 2013 by liondens
They are foolish if they don't combine the anti-euro and anti-immigration into their party's platform. Like I said above they will corner entire segment of disenfranchised people that are fed up with the mainstream political parties. Being anti-euro alone is not enough, they must take advantage of the current immigration problems that for too long have been neglected by the mainstream political parties. Believe me, when this party begins to talk about it other mainstream parties will follow suit, because they worry of losing votes. This party needs some smart people that can navigating to make sure that whatever they do, they do it differently than other boring and liar parties.
09:34 March 18, 2013 by mobaisch
if they combine anti-immigration, they will get part (most/all) of pro-deutschland far right votes, which is already nothing.

Only anti-euro can attract normal not racist people who are unsatisfied and they are too too many
10:48 March 18, 2013 by liondens
So now if the people that are fed up with the over crowded immigrants that cause many social problems everywhere, they are racist? That kind of stupid generalization was working well for lefties in the past, but now it doesn't work anymore. See, the people can see it now, and they are just had enough that they have to love them and keep their mouths shut otherwise they are racists, it's old news!

Thilo Sarrazin's book "Deutschland schafft sich ab" has sold about 2 million copies, The best seller book in more than a decade, I don't suppose those books are bought by the immigrants right?

"Only anti-euro can attract normal not racist people who are unsatisfied and they are too too many".

I didn't know that the majority of germans are satified with the current immigration situation there???? In fact, I think there was a poll that came out last year said that almost 2/3 of germans are now oppose to more immigrants. Oh yea, that poll was taking right after Thilo's book was published by the way!
16:58 March 18, 2013 by LiberalGuy
There already is an anti-euro/anti-immigration party. Its called the NPD. That's pretty much their entire platform. And they haven't done too well lately, so what would combining a anti-euro with anti-immigration do? As a anti-euro party they might have a chance to cause some mischief, but combing the two? You are just going to brand yourself as a softer NPD.
18:39 March 18, 2013 by Englishted

I am sure I'm not soft or hard N.P.D. but I will ask you to tell me where you would end the expansion of the E.U. ? how many more broken states can enter? and is it o.k. if the majority of the new entries land is not even in Europe ?.

When a main stream party is prepared to ask the electorates opinion on these matter of major importance maybe just maybe people will not feel so distrustful of the E.U. and the parties that follow its lead unquestioningly.
19:02 March 18, 2013 by LiberalGuy

I am sure you're not hard or soft NPD either. I'm just saying that combining anti-euro platform with an anti-immigration is essentially the same platform as the NPD. If that's all you are running on then what's the difference?

Its the same problem the UKIP has in the UK. The appearance of being racist (which a lot in the UKIP are despite how many of them flood the internet saying otherwise) because you don't really run on anything else other than anti-immigration and anti-euro when a lot of people have friends or family that belong to the groups those people are yelling against.

The questions you ask are valid (full disclosure I'm pro EU) but you can't just yell anti-euro, anti-immigration from the rooftops and think that a lot of people won't just see you as a racist. Especially when you platform is essentially the same as the NPD.

When it comes down to it, most people don't think the Turk running the kebab shop, or the African delivering the mail, or the Indians at the curry house you like (a lamb korma would be great tonight) are a problem. So why try convince the electorate they are? It would be a silly move. Running on getting out of the Euro will get you some votes. Adding anti immigration to that will loose you votes.
23:21 March 18, 2013 by zeddriver
I think that the media are the ones that always puts a negative connotation to the immigration issue. I.E. In America. If one does not support completely open borders. Where whole families of very, very unskilled folks and quite a few criminal types show up. Then get put on welfare, Are provided an education. Get tuition assistance for uni. Free health care. You are called a racist and anti immigrant. All the while the government is cutting back on uni assistance for the military folks who served the country and happen to be citizens. That's a disingenuous thing to do. Most folk I know aren't against immigration. They are for legal immigration.

So when a person says they are anti immigration. That speaks to the government policy on immigration. Not necessarily the immigrant.
03:28 March 19, 2013 by liondens
And softer NPD is exactly what we need!!!!!!!!
01:28 April 1, 2013 by dixi3150
Will certainky vote for AfD. It is the only German party that seems to be pro Germany. There are no differences between CDUand the rest. I realy hope that the Grillo senario will catch on in Germany. We need to wake up real soon.
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