The rise of the German Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party threatens to “paralyse” efforts to hold the Eurozone together, financial services company Standard & Poor’s has said.
The party has seen its electoral support shoot up in recent months, winning 10.6 percent of the vote in the Thuringia state elections last week and 12.6 percent in Brandenburg. In May it also won seven members of the European Parliament.
As Breitbart London reported earlier, AfD is now polling at 10 percent across Germany, making it the country’s third most popular party, however it is still well behind the two main parties, the CDU and Social Democrats, who are polling 42 percent and 22 percent respectively.
The party, which has been described as a “German Tea Party” and as “Germany’s UKIP” wants Germany to abandon the euro currency, but it does not want to leave the EU all together.
The Telegraph says that Standard & Poor’s has now released a report saying that the surge in support for AfD risks creating a credit crisis in the Eurozone: “Until recently, no openly Eurosceptic party in Germany has been able to galvanise opponents of European ‘bail-outs’. But this comfortable position now appears to have come to an end.”
The report also says that the party’s popularity is also likely to make quantitative easing more difficult for the European Central Bank as it galvanises support among the German population.
There is widespread resentment in Germany at the perception that the country’s taxpayers are propping up poorer countries in southern Europe, but this anger has not found an outlet until now.
The report adds: “AfD appears to enjoy a disciplined leadership, and is a well-funded party appealing to conservatives more broadly, beyond its europhobe core.
“This shift in the partisan landscape could have implications for euro area policies by diminishing the German government’s room for manoeuvre. We will monitor any signs of Germany hardening its stance.”
The report adds that the rise of the party would not matter if the Eurozone crisis were over, however “this is unlikely to be the case. Eurozone output is still below 2007 levels and in 2014 the weak recovery has come to a near halt in much of the euro area. Public debt burdens continue to rise in all large euro area countries bar Germany.”
The rise of the party threatens Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right CDU party, having already virtually destroyed the Free Democrats, the CDU’s traditional coalition partners. It is also winning over voters from the far-left Linke party.
AfD was founded only last year by disillusioned former members of the CDU. Its leader, Bernd Lucke is an economics professor, and although the mainstream parties have tried to characterise it as far-right and extreme, they have largely failed.
The rise of AfD mirrors a similar trend across major European nations. In France, the Front National, who want to bring back the franc, are ahead in the polls, while the anti-EU UK Independence Party continues to poll well in Britain.