Tough Going for Anti-Euro Party

Zounds! When you finally get a bunch of people willing to stick their heads above the political parapet, why do people become so intent on shooting them down?

Anti-Euro-Partei: Alternative für Deutschland gerät in Turbulenzen http://t.co/ANI6ig97Dd

@welt

DIE WELT


For there’s a new political party in Germany, as of a week ago last Sunday, the Alternative for Germany. Here’s a taste of their homepage, so you can see what they’re about:

Chose the Alternative!
Enough with this Euro!
The Federal Republic of Germany is stuck in the most difficult crisis in its history. The introduction of the Euro has proved itself to be a fatal mistake, that threatens the prosperity of us all.
The old parties are all crusty and worn-out. They persistently refuse to recognize and correct their mistakes.
Therefore we have founded the ALTERNATIVE FOR GERMANY!

logo-afdWhether you welcome this development I suppose depends on what you think of the euro. At least it testifies to the openness of the German political scene, that a new party can be founded so easily. There are drawbacks to that as well, though, as any political scientist could tell you. Anyway, any party has to receive at least 5% of the vote in any German parliamentary election – state or federal – to get its members into that parliament. Lately it had seemed that the only new political parties being formed were from the Nazi fringe.

But that’s actually now the problem of Alternative für Deutschland as well, that is, alleged extreme-rightist leanings, as we read in the Die Welt article by Günther Lachmann to which the above tweet links. It has had to announce the rejection of one party-member after his links to the neo-Nazi Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD) was uncovered. The Berlin NPD head, one Uwe Meenen, did not help matters much when he spoke to the FAZ of his intention to infiltrate NPDers into the new party, and remarked that at the AfD’s founding congress on the 14th he had recognized a couple dozen “familiar faces” – i.e. NPD members – present there.

If it’s any consolation, another German party founded relatively recently of which you migh have heard – namely the Pirate Party – has also struggled with being tarred by association with right-wing extremists.

Otherwise, other fairly highly placed German political figures have already started to react to the AfD’s founding, obviously in negative terms, including even Philip Rösler, Deputy Chancellor and head of the Free Democrats (FDP, who opined to the Bild Zeitung that “The AfD is not good for Germany. It wants to go back to the D-Mark [but] the consequences would be fatal.” So the AfD – whatever you may think of it – must not be doing too badly, as surely one measure of one’s progress is those who seem to be afraid of you.

What gets me, though, is the bit there at the bottom of Lachmann’s article where AfD spokesman Alexander Gauland is at pains to point out that “endangering Yellow-Black [i.e. the present federal governing coalition of the CDU/CSU with the FDP] is not our goal. . . . We want to change government policy as a practical matter, and not topple anyone or have some other government.” Let’s have none of this talk, guys: if you really think you have harnessed some popular groundswell against the euro, you should be going in with guns blazing, threatening to bust the place up if you don’t get your way!

Just make sure to get rid of all your closet-Nazis (if any) first.

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