Sweden wasn’t the only European country where anti-establishment forces had a surprisingly good election yesterday.
In Germany, the anti-Euro Alternative for Deutschland (AFD) party is only one year old, but it has won enough votes to enter its third state parliament. In May, AFD sent members to the European Parliament for the first time. Yesterday, it won 10 percent of the vote in Thuringia, central Germany, and 12 percent in Brandenburg, the region surrounding Berlin that includes Potsdam.
Merkel, whose Christian Democratic party governs with the left-wing Social Democrats, has finally admitted that the rise of the AFD is “a problem.” The upstart party has now added other issues to its opposition to the Euro, including calls for greater discipline in schools, family-friendly policies intended to rejuvenate Germany’s aging society, and reforms of loose immigration policies.
Bernd Lucke, the AFD’s leader, is particularly critical of Merkel’s decision to give in to demands from the Turkish minority in Germany and relax restrictions on dual citizenship. “Dual citizenship is a Trojan horse that opens the door to fanaticized and brutalized holy warriors,” he recently told audiences.