Germany’s anti-Euro party, AfD, placed third in a nationwide opinion poll earlier this week in its best showing ever, signaling a surprising shift in the staunchly pro-EU country. The Telegraph reports:
One in ten Germans said they would vote for Alternative for Germany (AfD) if there was a general election tomorrow, according to a Forsa poll for RTL and Stern magazine.
The figures will make uncomfortable reading for Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition and correspond with a Euope-wide shift in voter preference towards euroscpetic parties and candidates.
The AfD, which says it is anti-euro rather than anti-EU, wants to dismantle the eurozone and repatriate powers from Brussels, but is not seeking a German exit.
These results put the AfD ahead of Germany’s other more established “third parties”—Die Linke (the Left), the Greens, and Free Democrats (FDP), all of whom currently hold seats in the Bundestag. AfD does not as of now, but as this poll indicates, that could change. In fact, if an election were held tomorrow, the AfD could become the official opposition: Since Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrats are in a “Grand Coalition” with their traditional rivals, the Social Democrats, AfD would be the largest opposition party.The shift in Germany reflects increased disenchantment with the euro and the accompanying bailouts that the Germans have funded. But beyond that, it illustrates the larger disillusion across Western Europe with the post-war consensus and its current leaders — a situation well encapsulated by the German “Grand Coalition” of nominal opponents.