German far right 'cries for joy' after UK votes to leave EU
The far-right AfD party called for a "new Europe" and the resignation of the EU's top two politicians in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Writing on Twitter, AfD (Alternative for Germany) leader Frauke Petry said that "the time is ripe for a new Europe."
The AfD has long called for the end to the Euro as a single currency for the European project, and has also been sharply critical of the European Union’s immigration policies which it sees as too generous.
AfD member of the European Parliament Beatrix von Storch greatly praised the Brexit vote.
“I cried with joy,” she told broadcaster Phoenix on Friday,
She also had strong words for the EU’s top two leaders, saying that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Martin Schulz “must accept responsibility and resign because their project has failed.”
A 'Dexit' for Germany?
A survey this week released before the vote showed that a majority of AfD supporters want Germany to make a ‘Dexit’ from the EU itself.
The poll by Stern magazine and research group Forsa showed that 63 percent of AfD supporters said they wanted Germany to make a break from the Union.
This was in sharp contrast with German respondents overall, with 79 percent of those polled in total saying they wanted Germany to stay in the EU.
Meanwhile after the vote, several German media outlets were expressing fears on Friday morning that Brexit will lead to contagion, and that populist far-right parties would win support for their plans for the disintegration of the EU on the back of it.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung asks whether the Czech Republic and Netherlands will be next to have referendums on their membership of the EU.
The Munich daily points out that Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right Party for Freedom, has already called for the Netherlands to have their own vote.
Other German parties also took the opportunity to call for reform of the EU.
The liberal FDP said that “Brexit has opened a debate on the future of Europe. The EU needs a new beginning.”
Nach <a a="" data-partner="tweetdeck" dir="ltr" href="Nach #Brexit ist die Debatte über die Zukunft Europas eröffnet. Die EU braucht einen #Neustart. Wir wollen #NEUropa. pic.twitter.com/lIY1rEnSgk — FDP (@fdp) June 24, 2016
The Leave campaign won the referendum on Thursday with a vote of 52 percent to 48 percent, according to the BBC.
Voter turnout reached 72 percent with over 30 million people casting their ballots.