(Pictured - Latest AfD election posters - Left: New Germans, we will make them ourselves - Right: Germany 12 years under Merkel, price of electricity up 50%)
German elections are slowly dragging themselves towards the finish this Sunday 24 September. The result has been called a couple of times already. Angela Merkel will get a fourth term unless something goes horribly wrong, the opposition SPD of Martin Schulz will lose but you won’t see it from his speech of course (this is how European politics goes my friends, no one ever loses, it’s always, we thought we would get much less, but…)
But one this is sure though. On the far right, for the first time in 50 years or so, a nationalist party (the AfD) is about to enter the German Bundestag, the parliament. This is something that hasn’t happened since…. well pretty much the second world war in fact.
Today, in Dresden, the nationalist party stronghold, waved it’s flags in one of the final rallies. Anti-islam and outspoken nationalistic. They call for closed borders and are shouting that it’s time to “Get your country back”.
The AfD has leaned on the anger of a great part of the German population over Angela Merkel’s immigration policy of 2015 and 2016 where 1.2 million refugees, mostly from Iraq and Syria, entered the country and Merkel famously said: ‘Wir Schaffen Das’ (We will handle it).
However with groping attacks in many cities (Koln), terrorist bombings and knife attacks (Munich) and even a truck driving into a Christmas market (Berlin), the mood of the senior German public has shifted.
Even the British quality newspaper Financial Times yesterday already posted a graph showing the expected result of the AfD in Sunday’s election, as well as an explanation to the why they would get this result.
The AfD may not have the same percentage numbers as the FN in France or the PVV in the Netherlands, but to be in parliament five years after starting a political party is an incredible feat for sure.
The two top politicians, Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel addressed the crowd with their usual lines, to great cheers.
On Sunday, expectations are for anywhere between 8 to even 15%. If this result materializes indeed, the the AfD is a force to be reckoned with in future coalition talks. and whether Merkel wants to or not, Germany will swing right.