Saturday, 13 April 2013

Steinbrück? He's no alternative for Germany.

At what might seem a glacial pace, the German federal elections slide ever closer. Once again, the Euro has become the focus with Cyprus' near collapse and the announcement of a new euroskeptic party closer to home.

The Alternative für Deutschland has sought for a great deal of attention around Europe. Is this a sign that Germany is losing faith in the grand European Project? 


While a great deal of hot air has been produced around this (not yet officially founded, that happens tomorrow) party - it's difficult to ignore the profile of its supporters: cantankerous old men with a whiff of the far-right. Despite their name, they haven't even begun to elucidate how they would extract Germany from the European quagmire*, let alone any details of a broader programme.

Looking at the polls, it's business as usual. Angela Merkel continues to be the most popular politician in Germany. Her challenger, Peer Steinbrück, is struggling to keep a majority of his own party behind him. The Social Democrats are still doing better that Steinbrück personally, but would not be able to form a government unless their support does not dramatically increase.

*It's an odd quagmire, this. A quagmire where you're stuck with a record-breaking economic output, some of the lowest unemployment rates in modern history,  and suffering the pain of arguably some of healthiest government finances in the world. Poor them.

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