Don’t look now, Chancellor Merkel but the peasants may well be at the Bundestag door with pitchforks in hand!
But there is another more conservative party that is opposing the continued bailouts and has openly embraced an euroskeptic position:
Aiwanger and Henkel announced their plans at a news conference in Berlin earlier this week in best populist style alongside representatives of Germany’s nobility and a grandson of former Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. In the name of ”common sense” they railed against the political elite who, they say, harm the country and its citizens. As an alternative to the government’s bailout plans Instead, they proposed a radical free market approach in which states in debt should not be threatened with sanctions but with being kicked out of the eurozone, The ESM, they say, should not save countries, but financial systems. The group quoted surveys that found a majority of Germans opposed to present bailout policies.
The Irish Times is also reporting that both the Pirates and the Free Voters seek to reform the EU – not get out of it:
After four years of diffuse anti-bailout protest, German political opposition is consolidating too. The Freie Wähler (FW, free voters), a regional force in southern Germany and home to prominent German bailout critics is planning a general election bid next year to attract bailout-critical voters.
It’s a daunting challenge in an increasingly crowded German party landscape. The burgeoning Pirate Party is likely to attract significant anti-establishment support among younger, left-wing voters. But the FW sees huge potential for stealing voters from the right wing of Dr Merkel’s CDU and her Free Democrat (FDP) coalition partners.
“We are of interest to voters from the sensible conservative centre – the tradesmen, self-employed, civil servants and farmers,” said party leader Hubert Aiwanger in his office in the Munich Landtag. Four years ago the 41-year-old farmer and engineer led his party to a record 19 per cent vote in the Bavarian state election, making it the third-largest party.
Ostensibly conservative, its policies cross the political spectrum – from rural support programmes to immigration rules. Its local appeal is as a people-first alternative to established parties it claims are beholden to big business. The party has now adapted this message to a national audience, presenting the euro and its crisis as the logical conclusion of politics for business and banks but not voters.
The Free Voters have a intriguing program that does not go as far as I would but is a step in the right direction. The FV party is pro-integration but anti-debt and anti-bailout. Party leaders actually raise the specter of civil unrest in Europe, ironically a goal of European unionists:
“We are worried about this Europe. We want that it keeps working and that citizens can live in peace and prosperity. We are concerned at the danger of civil war-like conditions developing.”
Hubert Alwaenger, the FV party leader, also cleverly suggests that shared misery throughout the Continent is tantamount to communism, yes communism:
“To a certain degree I can accept this transfer if it leads to widespread contentment,” he said. “But if we throw everything into one pot, Europe is on the road to communism with everyone liable for everyone.”
No one is sure if this is just a protest movement or an actual electoral shift but that is the exciting thing about elections. They will give an answer – even if it is not the answer the EU elites or I want.
Konrad Adenauer, the legendary West German Chancellor who served until he was 87 (Ron Paul could run in 2016 and serve one term and still not be as old as Adenauer was when he left office!) wanted to see a common currency according to this article but Adenauer’s grandson is supporting the FV party!
Announcing his defection to the Bavarian “Free Voters” party last week, Stephan Werhahn said bailing out struggling euro zone states like Greece had “nothing to do with the European vision of the founding fathers”, including his own grandfather.
Werhahn, a businessman who has never run for office, doesn’t carry the moral authority of the ancestor once voted “the greatest German of all time”. But his decision highlighted growing volatility in German party politics, where Eurosceptics see untapped potential for protest votes.
The FV leader even suggests a return to the Deutsche Mark:
Aiwanger insists he is pro-European but fears the single currency could put German economic stability at risk. He blames Merkel for letting bailouts spin out of control and wants the Bundestag to throw out a permanent euro zone bailout fund, which awaits German ratification to come into effect.
If the euro cannot be “fixed”, he said, Germany will have to think about leaving the currency bloc.
“The carousel just keeps getting faster and the question is should we jump off it now, or hope it will it slow down? I think we should jump off now and risk a few broken bones rather than sitting on it longer and breaking our necks,” Aiwanger said.
I suggest that the FV Party team up with the Pirates to reach different voter groups and thus gain seats, perhaps the balance of power in the central Euro nation. The EU elites never sought legitimacy in their empire-building and now they are paying the price. For more and more Europeans, Tweedledee and Tweedledum are simply not acceptable anymore.