Thursday, March 28, 2013

----- Error in the story ---- see below

 Update: I made a unexcusable mistake. Lucke was interviewed in 2012 as a Professor and not as a party leader. The soft stance of the FAZ is due to that not as I claimed growing standing of the party.
 I apologize.

The head of the German euro-sceptic party AfD Prof. Lucke, said in an interview with the FAZ that he thinks, Greek "bankruptcy is perhaps only a matter of weeks" away. Of course he might hope that this is the case, but it seems utterly unlikely, since the Cyprus disaster should have woken everybody in charge up to the fact that even the smallest member states are important, when it comes to the often mentioned "confidence".

More important than what he said, was the tone of the interview in my opinion. A few weeks ago the party was portrayed as right wing travesty. I wrote (see first link):

This one bulletin point party is and will be irrelevant. But it got the media in Germany all dizzy, because some right wingers also want the Deutsche Mark back and therefore AfD is Hitler or something. Also it is dangerous, naive and have I mentioned Hitler?

 This new interview, in a major German newspaper, shows a significant shift in reporting, as it can be described as extremely soft on Lucke.  He said that "the austerity measures are not being implemented sufficiently." Showing in my opinion a failure to understand even the basic principle that contractionary policy is, well contracionary. He was not asked to clarify that statement but instead went on to, in my opinion, shift the blame entirely to the crisis countries by claiming that blackmailing to achieve less austerity "is the way the game is played."  This might also be due to the AfD growing at a very fast rate. The homepage is online for 18 days now, and the party today claimed 5,000 new members in that time. Many of those will have joined because of the Cyprus crisis. So the plan of Chancellor Merkel to be uncompromising might have backfired not only everywhere else in Europe but also in German domestic politics.

The newest representative poll by Forsa asking if Germans think that their money is safe in bank deposits had 54 % of participants answer NEIN. Which is still a significant increase from the older polls (a week earlier!). This is in my opinion very irrational. At the moment there is no reason to believe that in Germany. The more important question is: will the citizens act? Will they start to get their money out of the Euro area? I hope not and I don't see a reason why they should. The German banking system is very diverse, with only one bank too big to fail and many trustee savings banks that have a state independent guarantee for deposits in place.

So, the new party might just become a threat in the sense, that Merkel will take a harder stance in case another bailout will be necessary before the elections in September. The significant growth of the AfD and the different approach of the media, might just get the party into the Bundestag then. It will not be part of a government coalition, and it primarily decreases the chances of the smallest Merkel partner FDP to be in the next Bundestag, since a lot of former members have switched to the AfD

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