That’s the Point: German Economist ‘Warns’ Rise of Populism Will Hinder Immigration

08 September 2022, Berlin: Alice Weidel, federal chairwoman of the AfD, presents the "Our Country First!" campaign at a press conference with co-chairman Chrupalla. Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa (Photo by Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images

A senior economist in Germany has warned that an increase in populism will likely slow immigration into the country, a statement that seems unlikely to deter voters.

Marcel Fratzscher, President of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), warned that a “strengthening” of the populist right in Germany would hinder the massive waves of immigration into the country.

The so-called warning comes during a time of blind panic for Germany’s political mainstream, with the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party storming ahead in the polls despite every single other mainstream party working to alienate them as part of “cordon sanitaire” politics.

Such efforts now appear to be in collapse, with the party now tied in popularity with Germany’s largest ruling party — the left with Social Democrats of Chancellor Olaf Scholz — at 19 per cent support.

According to a report by Handelsblatt, certain economists in the country are panicking at the steady rise of the party, with multiple members of the DIW expressing fear that they will put an end to the country’s long streak of hardcore progressivism.

Speaking to the publication, Fratzscher warned that the increased support for the AfD would result in “economic damage” for the country, claiming that any “further strengthening of right-wing extremist forces” would hurt immigration into the country.

“If this openness and tolerance continues to be lost, then German companies will be able to keep up with global competition less and less,” the DIW chief claimed.

How exactly such warnings are supposed to dissuade AfD voters in any way remains unclear, with one of the major platforms for the party being to get mass immigration into the country under control.

Fratzscher is not the only economist upset at current circumstances, with others speaking of a negative economic impact on Germany should more and more people begin to question its so-called “open society”.

What the economists do not discuss in the article is the impact of Germany’s open society itself, with a combination of radical green politics and the country’s pro-Ukraine stance having caused catastrophic damage to the country’s industry thanks to a rapid rise in energy costs.

Things are now so bad in the country that there are fears that it could face permanent deindustrialisation, with firms fleeing abroad if nothing is done to curb costs.

“The danger of deindustrialisation cannot be dismissed out of hand,” the head of one manufacturer remarked late last year. “We are not renewing our infrastructure enough, building too little and not innovative enough. We are watching as the most important competitors in the world – such as the US and China – overtake us left and right.”

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