Natalia Kovalenko, Alexander Shishlo
Mar 12, 2013 16:31 Moscow Time
© Flickr.com/Luigi Rosa/cc-by-sa 3.0
German opponents to the common European currency have set up a new political party named Alternative for Germany. They urge disbanding the Eurozone, going back to national currencies and stopping financing other countries’ economies. Sociologists say that 26% of the electorate are prepared to give their votes to the new party. Germany was one of the first counties to support the idea of introducing the euro but today it is swept with euroscepticism.
The financial crisis in the EU is the reason for the growing ranks of eurosceptics. More and more German citizens have come to the conclusion that their country has to render assistance to its Eurozone partners to the detriment of its own people and spends enormous sums of money supporting an obviously unsustainable project. Many Germans share the opinion of the European MP, the leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage who has rather convincingly predicted the collapse of the Eurozone.
In this situation leading German economists, lawyers and businessmen have announced the establishment of the party Alternative for Germany. The main point of its programme is Germany’s withdrawal from the Eurozone. The constituent congress of the new party is to be held in Frankfurt in the near future. Interestingly, eurosceptics will meet within two hours’ drive from the city of Witzenhausen which has already started to use its local currency, the kirschblute, as an alternative to the euro. The local currency is used for buying locally manufactured products.
Analysts believe that the Alternative for Germany party is unlikely to win seats in Parliament because there is not enough time left till the next elections due in September 2013. At the same time, the new political force could pull aside quite a large protest electorate and impede the approval of package assistance to Germany’s partners in the Eurozone. The head of the Centre for German Studies of the Institute of Europe at the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladislav Belov is speaking:
“Germany is likely to follow Italy’s example where a humorist won protest votes by criticising the Eurozone among other things. Moreover, a book was published in Germany a year ago that offered an imaginary context for the establishment of a party in honour of the German mark. In the book the party wins enough votes, gets into parliament, deposes the Chancellor, etc. I believe that in reality the Alternative for Germany party would not win this high percentage of votes. However, as a protest image, including the protest against the euro, this party is likely to win a considerable number of votes.”
A number of social surveys have shown that about two-thirds of German citizens believe that they would be much better off with the German mark. Meanwhile, until now there has been no party in Germany that would aim at rejecting the euro, unlike in other Eurozone lender countries.
On the whole, the growing influence of nationalist and populist parties in Europe testifies to a management crisis in the entire EU, rather than in separate countries. In particular, British Prime Minister David Cameron promised to hold a referendum on the UK’s participation in the EU in 2014. Experts believe that this means that in the near future the national interests of certain members of the EU would not necessarily coincide with the aims of the EU’s social and economic policy.
Categories: EU Erosion