April 15, 2013
Some 1500 delegates from the Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) met in Berlin on Sunday to officially launch the organization, openly calling for “orderly dissolution of the euro.” AfD also asks for the return of some sovereignty from the EU to the member states, as well as the introduction of Swiss-style referendums at the federal level.
Created by economists and professors dissatisfied with the euro, its members number 7,500 supporters. The party aims to debut in September’s general elections.
The party is optimistic about the upcoming elections, “a double digit result is realistic”, party spokesman, Bernd Lucke told the Bild newspaper.
“We are an alternative to the euro policies of Mrs. Merkel,” AfD deputy spokeswoman Frauke Petry said last month. “We have the potential to become a major party.”
Germany’s established parties have criticized AfD’s platform as populist.
“They are advocating something that I consider to be unfounded, dangerous and illusionary,” because this would mean “a return to a traditional-style nation-state” that will hurt Berlin’s export-dependent economy, Jürgen Trittin from the Green Party told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
“The Alternative for Germany has a program for destroying jobs in the German export industry,” Trittin added.
The political establishment is also worried that the new anti-euro party will attract voters frustrated by German support for a number of bailouts for debt-ridden eurozone members.
All political parties in Germany must receive five percent of the national vote in order to qualify for representation in the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag.
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