I met a senior member of the German AFD yesterday in London. He was optimistic about his party’s prospects, anticipating they will win seats in the Euro elections next year. He explained that his party is now on 6% in the national polls, which would give them representation in the next Parliament if there has to be an early re-run of the election.
Their main policy is to insist on no more bail outs within the Euro zone. They are not calling for the immediate exit of certain countries from the zone, nor are they in favour of an early break up of the whole single currency. They think several countries will be unable or unwilling to accept the continuing discipline of the Euro, and will seek financial help from other member states. At that point those countries should be invited to leave rather than receiving money from the stronger countries.
The AFD see the damage the current level of the Euro is doing to some members, and the way high unemployment and little or no growth is stalking much of the zone. They think freeely floating currencies and monetary independence worked better in the past and would work better in the future.
They support the various legal challenges to the German government, made in an a effort to stop the use of German money prop up other parts of the zone. They see the difficulty Mrs Merkel is having in forming a new coalition government, and would like to see new elections. They point out that the substantial votes for Free Democrats and the AFD has not be translated into any seats in the Parliament, limiting their scope to influence the Parliamentary process.
It is still quite likely Mrs Merkel will do an eventual deal with the SPD. Such a government will be less wedded to policies which promote freedom and enterprise, and more inclined to support further EU integration and the transfer of subsidies. However, many of the German public agreee with the AFD’s central point, that there should be no more bail outs.