Economy

Polls suggest jump in German far-right party's support

Polls suggest jump in German far-right party's support”

This is a depressing reflection of contemporary European politics, and even more tragic when it enters legitimate German politics.If the opinion polls are to be believed, Merkel's 15 percent lead would enable her not only to retain office, but also to select carefully her coalition partners. In 2013, the election took place on 22 September and after exhaustive negotiations, the new government was sworn in on 17 December.

"Under the surface, there is an urge for change in Germany", Hoffmann says, "and this was shown in the beginning of the year when Martin Schulz entered the political arena".

There are two main parties in Germany, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD), but turnout for several smaller parties in this year's voting could prove pivotal. Far-right AfD rises to 12%. Here's some evidence for the "no" argument. It's is a new party running on an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim platform that credits the Tea Party with teaching its candidates some of the strategies they're using in this election.

Yet, while Germany's role in trying to force Athens back onto the financial straight and narrow has sparked resentment, with Berlin cast in the villain's role for demanding fiscal rectitude, most Greeks appear unfazed at Angela Merkel's expected re-election next week.

Despite the AfD's lack of popularity, political observers expect the party to win enough votes to secure representation in Germany's parliament for the first time.

Of course, there's a "pro" argument for the AfD, too. This in return drew criticism not only from her political rivals but also from within her own party. As it happens, the AfD wasn't founded by brownshirts and street thugs but by economics professors. On only one occasion has a single party, CDU/CSU, governed by itself, and that was in 1957, before reunification; on all other occasions there has been a coalition, usually involving the right-of-centre FDP.

"We really don't know what kind of government we will get", said Sudha David-Wilp, deputy director of the German Marshall Fund in Berlin. "We're not going to make ourselves into mindless tools of one coalition or another", he said in April.

There's more. As Foreign Policy has noted, AfD's "top candidate in the upcoming election, Alice Weidel, is lesbian". She is a woman by whom one could simply be led.

With practically all German parties paying campaign money to Google, Facebook and Twitter, this is the first time that USA internet companies are playing such a central role during the German election. The AfD, known for its Euroskeptic views and strong opposition to immigration, is more popular among Germans who dislike the European Union and those who see the large number of refugees leaving countries like Iraq and Syria as a major threat to their country.

"I am concerned about the election", a senior Greek government source said this week. "It is important to me that the buzzwords - economic governance, a European finance minister, a budget - are filled with content, and I have no doubt that we can find solutions with France", she said.

So much for the technical bit, what about the parties vying for power next week?

The promises to reach full employment for 2025 and the continuous good health of the national economy are some of her main electoral promises.

The AfD's entry into parliament would be "a disgrace for Germany", Schulz told the Tagesspiegel daily.

The most notable is the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a nationalist upstart that has rocked the German political establishment with its rejection of open borders, Islam, political correctness and the euro. Given the establishment parties' reluctance to address their nation's deepening immigration crisis with anything remotely resembling constructiveness and candor, a few AfP seats in Parliament - but far from a majority - could be the best possible outcome.



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