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Germany’s Political Left Swings Slightly Right

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A great success of a new far-right popular German political party, the Alternative for Germany(AfD). 

Germany’s Political Left Swings Slightly Right

Originally appeared at Politika, translated by Joco Mijanic | Јоцо Мијанић exclusively for SouthFront; Edited by Rachel Lane

Elections held the last week in three German autonomous provinces has sparked a real earthquake on the German political scene. Although many in the western media believe that the results are “a disaster for Angela Merkel” and her Christian Democratic Union(CDU), a careful observer will find that the CDU has the least reason to be concerned, despite the fact that part of its voters defected to the AfD.


The AfD’s victory – between 12 and 24% of the votes won put Germany on the list of countries in western Europe where the far-right political parties are quite present in the national and regional Parliaments. French commentators can be heard as saying, Welcome to the club, a club where far-right political parties are not taboo topics, but German commentators point out this is a great change on the political scene of the country where the balance of power will not depend on which political party is stronger. So far these big political parties did not have to make any political alliances. Now they don’t just have to make them, but also, they have to include policies of the smaller political parties as well. In Saxony-Anhalt, a federal state, the polls will force Frau Merkel’s party, the CDU, to welcome the far left parties.  Frau Merkel looks upon these as extreme political parties as being disobliging.


Despite the fact that Green had won the first time in its history, winning in one province, and neither more nor less than in Baden-Württemberg, which is considered to be a bastion of support for the CDU, the concern in the ranks of the Greens is no less, it could be heard over and over, the inevitability of turning to the right.

On the one side is the current Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Mr. Winfried Kretschmann, who achieved victory for the Green(GRUN) party, but his political partners from the SPD failed. On the other side, the Liberal-Democratic Party(FDP) refused to form an alliance with him. Therefore, Kretschmann had no other choice but to form a coalition with their rivals from the CDU. It will not be an easy job because Mr. Guido Wolf, one of the official candidates of Frau Merkel’s party, sworn he, “will not form any alliance or a coalition with the Greens,” and also the ideology of the Christian Democratic Party does not match with the rebellious ideology of the Green party. The Green Party was created during the 1980s and those who voted during the 80s for the Green party currently are the older middle-class.  Now both parties, the Green and Frau Merkel’s, aim mostly at these older middle-class voters.

Mr Kretschmann contributed the most to the triumph of the Green party, while the party in Saxony-Anhalt lean won 5.2% and 5.3% in Rhineland-Pfalz. This is three times less than the Green party had five years ago. Those disappointed persons in Saxony-Anhalt, who had voted for the Green party, changed sides and crossed over either to the CDU and AfD, while the voters in Rhineland-Pfalz already voted for the Social Democratic Party.

Two and a half years ago the Green party barely won 5% on the Federal level, and now the members of the party are discussing whether to strengthen their far left political ideology or to change course more to the right wing and to become an ecological version of Christian-Democrats. Mr Kretschmann found the long desired middle-ground and he successfully demonstrated that he can rule as the black, the color of the CDU and at the same time to support extreme liberal decisions of Frau Merkel for the refugee crisis. Mr. Kretschmann charismatic personality and good communication enabled him to balance between the two, but this still did not solve the big dilemma whether or not to change colors on the next elections.


Similar dilemmas are present in the far left party as well, which did not achieve great results on the regional elections and especially in its former stronghold in the east of Germany. Five years ago in Saxony-Anhalt every 4th person would vote for the party and now the party won only 16.3% of the voted and that granted it 3rd place on the list of supporters just after Frau Merkel’s party and the Alternative for Germany. When it comes to the latest polls the former voters of the far left party, who are mostly unemployed, voted for the Alternative for Germany which once again started the long lasted debate in the far left party regarding the refugee crisis and demands for harsher political engagement.

In spite of the fact that intolerance towards immigrants has been growing from day to day the political leaders of the far left party have not given up on the unpopular laws regarding the immigration and refugee problems except Mrs. Sahra Wagenknecht who stated that ”those who take the advantage of the German hospitality they should be denied the same.” Mr. Oskar Lafontaine, the husband of Mrs. Wagenknech and the former political leader of the Social Democratic party and the far right party, also stated in the last couple of months that populist ideas of transferring the certain number of refugees to the USA while Mrs. Wagenknech told The Berliner Currier, a regional daily German tabloid, that ”Germany cannot accept all the refugees.”

Mrs. Wagenknech ‘s statements do not go side by side with the party’s ideology whose leader, Mr. Katja Kipping, has been refusing to limit the number of refugees who can enter Germany and who warned that the far left ”must not copy the ideology of far right populist party the Alternative for Germany”.

A satirical text was published on the web site of Eine Zeitung in which they made fun out of the Mrs.  Sahra Wagenknecht where she ”is founding a Right-Left Party.” In this satirical text the author is pointing out the very idea that Mrs. Wagenknecht is a member of a far left party while she supports the ideology of the far right party. Also Mrs. Wagenknecht ‘s contradictory statements such as the involvement of the Russian Armed Forces in Syria where she is “against any armed operations,” but is not against “the Russians”; the German borders must remain open for the refugees but at the same time they should send some of them to the USA, because they bear the responsibility for the war in Syria. The real satirical message of the author was this political party of Mrs. Wagenknecht will not make any alliances or coalitions with the remaining parties as long as they do not acquire the same ”ideology.”

This seems as the perfect answer for every single political party.

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