'Alternative For Germany' Party Buoyed By "Every Swastika On The Streets Of Athens"

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A month ago we discussed the rising anti-Euro sentiment in the core of Europe and the "Alternative for Germany" party appears to be growing in strength. As the NYTimes reports, this is a party driven a collection of elites (not a groundswell from the streets) tired of Merkel's "flagrant breach of democratic, legal, and economic principles." While we warned that the forthcoming 'wealth tax' will raise the ire of the southern-European elites (and thus increase the likelihood of a euro breakup), it appears this small-but-growing party in Germany is pushing in the same direction, as one member noted, "we keep giving out more and more money when we have so many problems at home." Polls show as many as 1-in-4 would consider voting for the new party, and "they don't need more than 5% to make things very tight for [Merkel]." The increasing tension in Europe (and rising anti-Germany sentiment) is helping raise membership as "every swastika on the streets of Athens" reduces Merkel's support, and, as members note, "if the euro fails, Europe will not fail," amid nostalgia for the former German Mark.

 

Via NYTimes,

With less than six months to go before parliamentary elections in Germany, a new political party that is calling for an end to the European currency union is gaining strength.

 

The party, Alternative for Germany, held its first formal party congress on Sunday at a Berlin hotel. It has emerged as a wild card ahead of the September elections and poses a potential threat to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s re-election prospects.

 

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We want to put an end to the flagrant breach of democratic, legal and economic principles that we have seen in the past three years, because Chancellor Merkel’s government said there is no alternative,” Mr. Lucke told more than 1,500 supporters on Sunday. “Now it is here, the Alternative for Germany.”

 

Mr. Lucke says the euro is dividing Europe rather than uniting it, as the single currency was meant to do.

 

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“They don’t need to get 5 percent to make things very tight for the chancellor,” said Wolfgang Nowak, a fellow at the North Rhine-Westphalia School of Governance in Duisburg. “And every swastika on the street in Athens helps this new party.”

 

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“We keep giving out more and more money when we have so many problems here at home,” said Ms. Tigges-Friedrichs, who runs two hotels and a cafe in Bad Pyrmont.

 

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Polls show that a large number of voters, as many as one in four, would consider voting for the party. But that might not translate into actual votes. And several other surveys have shown that the nostalgia for the former German currency, the mark, is beginning to ebb.

 

Discontent has its limits. While Germans dislike the notional price tag for the many commitments and guarantees their government has made over the three years of the euro crisis, the job market is strong, borrowing costs are low and the country is approaching the balanced budget it so desperately craves.

 

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“If the euro fails, Europe will not fail,” said Mr. Lucke, contradicting the chancellor’s repeated insistence that the future of the 27-member European Union is tied to the success of its common currency. “If the euro fails, then the policies of Angela Merkel and Wolfgang Schäuble fail,” he said, referring to the chancellor and her finance minister.

 

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Steffen Kampeter, a deputy finance minister from Ms. Merkel’s party, told the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Alternative for Germany was giving voters a far too rosy picture of how a euro-zone breakup would occur. “The new party is deluding voters that it’s possible to renationalize the common currency without drawbacks,” Mr. Kampeter said, “as if you could make eggs again out of scrambled eggs.”