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  1. #1 German Tea Party: Anti Euro party may enter German Parliament 
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    Jun 2008
    German election: Anti-euro party poised to enter parliament
    The Alternative fur Deutschland, a party borne out of anger over the eurozone crisis, hovers on the brink of an electoral breakthrough, writes Jeevan Vasagar

    ....On Sunday, AfD (Alternative für Deutschland), a party borne out of anger over the eurozone crisis, hovers on the brink of an electoral breakthrough.

    A poll published on Thursday gave the party a 5 per cent share of the national vote – the threshold needed to win seats in the Bundestag. While most other polls have put them at just slightly below that level, there can be no question that the party's rise has rattled the German political mainstream.

    Alternative für Deutschland, which was only founded this year, is against the single currency, although it insists it is not anti-European Union, and its rise has drawn comparisons with that of the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip) in Britain.

    AfD argues that the euro threatens the EU's integration project because it impoverishes some countries with uncompetitive economies, while burdening others with the cost of bailouts and austerity measures. Instead, it says the euro should ultimately be dissolved, with countries able to leave the eurozone to establish their own currencies.

    The party primarily draws its support from the fear that the financial burden of successive bailouts will ultimately prove too high for the German taxpayer.

    At its first convention in April, Mr Lucke – a boyish-looking economist from Hamburg – told the crowd: "Does anyone believe that the people accepted the idea of paying for mismanagement in other euro-countries with hundreds of billions of euros?"

    The chief target of Mr Lucke's rhetoric has not been ordinary Greeks or Spaniards but "American hedge funds, French banks, British insurance firms."

    Ordinary people in Cyprus and Greece don't benefit from German taxpayers' money, he told supporters. "They just get a sniff of it – as if you could be satisfied by the aroma of a roast. The roast itself goes to the big financial investors."....

    Nicolaus Heinen, an analyst for Deutsche Bank, describes the AfD as the "great unknown" of Germany's elections. Pollsters have indicated that their true level of its support may be higher than predicted, as AfD supporters may regard polling organisations as part of a distrusted establishment.

    "AfD supporters are highly active in social media and street campaigning," Dr Heinen said. "We should not underestimate the potential of AfD voters to mobilise their families and circle of friends – that potential cannot be covered by opinion polls. That is particularly true if general turnout is average."....

  2. #2  
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    Jun 2008

    Well, 4.9%

    Angela Merkel has urged her party to celebrate "a super result" after exit polls suggested she was set to win a third term as German chancellor.

    Her conservatives took about 42% of the vote, according to exit polls.

    But Mrs Merkel's preferred coalition is at risk, as her Free Democrat partners appear not have secured the 5% needed to enter parliament.

    She may, therefore, be forced to seek a grand coalition with the Social Democrats - estimated to have won 26%.

    Exit polls for ARD public television put the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) on 4.7%, which if confirmed would be a disaster for the junior coalition partner, leaving it with no national representation in parliament.

    Senior party member Christian Lindner called it "the bitterest hour".

    The FDP was beaten by the Green Party (8%) and the former communist Left Party (8.5%), and even, according to exit polls, the new Alternative fuer Deutschland, which advocates withdrawal from the euro currency and took 4.9%, just short of the parliamentary threshold.

    There was some speculation on German television that Mrs Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister CSU might even win enough seats for an absolute majority - the first in half a century - if both the FDP and AfD fail to make it into parliament. ....

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