„Alternative for Germany“ – „Alternative für Deutschland“. The New German Anti-Euro Party

There is a self-declared „Alternative for Germany“ now, with the main focus on the German withdrawal from the European currency, in view of the next Federal Parliament (Bundestag) elections in Serptember 2013. This party (which in French would be qualified as „groupuscule“, not more) is right-wing populist, it is totally unclear from which background the party operates (there are former CDU and FDP members, but also others – it was whole-heartedly welcomed by the neo-nazi NPD), it is a „single purpose movement“ only – namely with the central point of Germany stepping out of the Euro and returning to the old German Mark. The founding meeting on 13./14.4.2013 was endlessly blaming  Greece, Cyprus, Ireland etc. They were all said „to be paid by Germany“ – which is absolutely untrue. And the bashing of EU partner countries who buy, by the way, lots of German goods & services is deeply unfair and unjust.

The Bundestag election programme of altogether 4 pages was adopted by acclamation, without discussion, and any changes were promised to do „later“. A look in the statutes shows that any changes can be made by a 75% majority only. This kind of practice was the usual method of the former East German communist party SED.

This party is mainly composed by university macro-economists who have gone lost of the reality of life (and who only in a minority might have seen a company from the inside). And there is no answer to their central objective, the scrapping of the Euro for Germany: Undoubtedly there would be, in this case, a high increase of the Deutsche Mark (which should be reestablished) external value, and subsequently the danger of less exports, the danger for Germany to lose its role as European engine for the economy, the German competitivity and the job level in this country. In short: The „Alternative for Germany“ would be an alternative in the direction of desaster. The typical member of this party is over 50 years, male and potentially attentive to right-wing or right-extremist sounds.

This party also says endlessly that they are no anti-Europeans, and that they just want to withdraw Germany from the Euro. The European Monetary Union is in the core of European integration, and it is part of the European Single Market. We do not need less Europe, we need more Europe, to adjust some of the deficits which were in the responsibility of the EU Member States when the Euro was introduced – not in the responsibiity of the EU institutions like European Parliament, European Commission or the European Central Bank. The EU has managed a lot of things in this respect, but it is not yet enough. We also had deficits in national policies, from which side whatsoever. But a unilateral withdrawal of Germany from the Euro is just „ga-ga“, and I do hope that the German voters will forward this groupuscule where it belongs to: in the trash bin of German history.

Hans-Jürgen Zahorka
Chief Editor, European Union Foreign Affairs Journal

Ein Gedanke zu “„Alternative for Germany“ – „Alternative für Deutschland“. The New German Anti-Euro Party

  1. A couple of remarks, pertaining to claims in your article:

    You suggest a that the AfD is right-wing in its nature, based on a palpable influx of disaffected conservative and liberal voters, and top this of with an insinuation that there is some affinity to right-extremists the like of the NPD. Why don’t you mention that there are also sizeable numbers of former Greens and Social-Democrats members of the party, let alone people so disenfranchised with politics that they have been non-voters in recent elections? Isn’t it good to see marginalised voters getting back into the political process? And does applause from the extremist fringe reflect correctly on a party that – unlike all other parties – is screening membership applications for extremists? Btw, how do Social-Democrats and Greens fare given the proximity of Sina Doughan or Franziska Drohsel to left-extremist organisations hostile to the constitution? No screening whatsoever.

    Why is it unfair and unjust to ask for alternatives in view of European politics? How does a discursive democracy thrive if not only the governing party and its coalition partner, but all the opposition support one and only one policy? With no alternative as our chancellor likes to point out. How does a participatory democracy thrive if a significant number of voters have become increasingly disaffected with Bundesrepublican politics and feel not represented by any of the existing five parties? Four of which have been gathering in the political centre and become indistinguishable on many political issues. Where is lively debate? And perhaps even more important: If the European project is to continue in form of an ever-closer union — where is the the sovereign, the voting public, given a place to voice its support or opposition to such an enterprise? If we are to overcome national states and national sovereignty as they exist now, shouldn’t it be up to the sovereign peoples of Europe to decide in favour of (or against) such a step? Don’t they need to be given an alternative to make an (informed) choice?

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