Following last weeks state election results where the ‘Alternative fur Deutschland’ Political party defeated Merkel’s CDU, German citizens are sending a clear message of resistance.
by, Marco Giannangeli | The Express – UK
Alternative fur Deutschland, formed in 2013, shocked the German establishment last week with huge gains in state elections.
The results have placed it in prime position to challenge Mrs Merkel’s CDU/CSU coalition in next year’s general election.
Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Express last night, party leaders shared their envy of Britain’s forthcoming EU referendum on June 23, and confirmed they would be pushing for a similar move in Germany.
“I want every member state to decide what is better for them, and the only way we can really do that is to have a referendum, like the UK.” said deputy chairman Beatrix von Storch MEP.
“Schengen has collapsed already. Under Schengen Europe’s borders are supposed to be protected. They’re not.
“A referendum is the only way German people can truly express if they want to stay in the EU, if they want to stay in the Euro, if they want to reform border controls to deal with the migrant crisis. They should be given a voice. They must be asked what they want.”
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Angela Merkel last week refused to back down on her policy not to cap the number of refugees given asylum in Germany. Over the last 12 months, more than 1.1 migrants have crossed Germany’s borders with 300,000 granted asylum. The policy will cost German taxpayers £36bn by 2017, according to a recent report.
AfD won an extraordinary 61 seats in 3 regional parliaments last week, coming second with 24 per cent of the votes in Saxony-Anhalt.
“We’re still a very young party so it’s a huge success,” said Ms von Storch.
“What’s even more important is the result in Baden-Wuertemberg, where we overtook the SDP, a ruling coalition party, to gain 15 per cent of the votes.
“Our success shows that the people are no longer supporting the politics of our Chancellor and all the other parties who back her.
“We are the only ones arguing that the only way for Germany to fight the refugee and migrant crisis is to close our borders.”
She rejected claims that AfD was an extreme right-wing party, describing its views as “social conservatives and fiscal liberals”.
Its core demographic, she said, was in the 18-40 year old group.
“Most of our supporters are young and well educated,” she added.
“In fact, our weakest group is the over-60s. And that’s good because we want our supporters to grow with us.”
She said attempts to lump AfD in with the right wing anti-Islamic movement Pegida had failed.
“Our political rivals have tried to damage us by linking us to Pegida – it’s the easiest way to damage a political party, especially here in Germany. But the people saw through this,” she said.
“The truth is that the ruling CDU is so left-wing that anyone who holds a position to its right is actually still in the centre. And that’s were we are, right of centre.
“We want to help people, of course, but we can’t have them all in Germany.
“When it comes to economic migration from within the EU, we think the free movement of labour is okay as long as people are working. We don’t think they should be allowed to come to Germany just to take advantage of our generous benefits system.”
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Last week the Sunday Express reported a poll that suggested a third more Britons would vote to leave the EU if Turkey was formally allowed to become a member state.
Pointing to ongoing negotiations between Brussels and Ankara, Ms von Storch said Turkish accession to the EU was red-line issue for German people as well.
“Ultimately, we must protect our borders. We must distinguish between migrants from refugees outside the EU and those form within” said Ms von Storch.
“The EU sees Turkey as the answer to our immigration problems. Well, President Erdogan knows how to play the game, and he will try to accelerate the accession process.
“This can only garner more support for us as we are likely to be the only party to oppose this.”
However, AfD is not a one-issue party, she said, pointing to other areas where EU interference has worked badly for Germany.
“Our family platform places us where the Christian Democrats were ten years ago – social conservative values. We still believe in the idea of a nuclear family, with a mother, father and children. Unfortunately this has become an extraordinary idea in today’s Germany,’ she said.
“For instance, we believe the time mothers take to stay at home to raise their children should be recognised in the same way as full-time working when it comes to calculating their pension entitlements.“
The Bologna process, an EU-wide reform adopted by 33 member states including the UK to bring Higher Education systems across Europe together, had also been a failure for Germany she said.
Asked whether AfD would continue to pose a threat to the Angela Merkel and the ruling coalition, she replied: “Our general elections are 18 months away, and that’s a long time.
“I’m pretty sure the problems we are facing now will have only increased, and we will gain even more support as people realise that we are the only party with answers to the real problems affecting Germans.”