Yes, An Alternative

by Andrew Stuttaford

EU Referendum’s Richard North checks out some of the highlights from the founding conference of Germany’s new euroskeptic party, the AFD, as reported by Die Welt.

The party will have an uphill path ahead of it, but it’s hard not to be encouraged by some of this:

The opening speech was delivered by Konrad Adam, former member of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung editorial board and for nearly seven years the chief political correspondent for Die Welt.

Europe, he said, stood for “disappointment, outrage, and alienation”, which drew the “thunderous applause” of the members. What has been gained over many decades, had been lost in just a few months, with the “alleged rescue policy” having “discredited Europe”, Adam said…

Also speaking was Joachim Starbatty, professor of political economics and the man who has filed repeated complaints with Germany’s constitutional court. He told members that, “Europe is tearing itself apart right now”. According to Starbatty, “A currency which is supposed to have united a continent is doing precisely the opposite”.

His “take” on the currency was that it was weak and ailing largely due to the fact that individual members were no longer in the position to be able to sustain it. Therefore, he said, it would be better for non-competitive countries, like Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy, etc, to leave”. An alternative, Starbutty argued, would be for Germany to leave.

If possible, Konrad Adam was even more forthright, speaking “clearly from the soul”. Greece, he said, was ruled by the troika until further notice: “Loud men who don’t get their mandate from the Greek people”. He referred to the “great liberal” Ralf Dahrendorf saying that there had never been a functioning democracy beyond the nation state. “But you cannot say such a thing today or the language police intervene”, Adam told the meeting.

Responding to the slur that they were a “populist” party, Adam told his members that they should consider the accusation as a compliment. “After all”, he said, “democracy is a very populist event because the last word is given to the people”.

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