German anti-euro party gains ground: Poll

A leading poll shows that a new German anti-euro party has cleared the five percent threshold required to enter parliament, a development that can spoil Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chance of holding on to her center-right coalition after Sunday’s election.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) scored five percent votes in the poll conducted by independent institute INSA on Thursday, AFP reported.

German academics Alexander Gauland, Bernd Lucke, Konrad Adam and Gerd Robanus, who believe the euro is a disastrous money pit for Germany and that countries in southern Europe are sinking into poverty under the competitive pressure of the single European currency, established the party in September 2012 but publically announced it in April this year.

Over two-thirds of its initial supporters hold doctorates, which gave it the nickname œthe professors’ party”. A number of well-known economists, journalists, and business leaders endorsed the party™s manifesto.

According to the latest poll, Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) held steady at 38 percent, while her coalition partner, the pro-business Free Democratic Party bagged two points to six percent.

The poll conductors say that the entry of the euroskeptic party in parliament would most probably deprive Merkel’s coalition a majority needed to form a government.

And such an outcome might force Merkel to cobble up a “grand coalition” with the center-left Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), which gained 28 percent in the poll.

The center-left “grand coalition” could take a softer line towards struggling southern eurozone states.

“The final phase of the German election campaign has not gone well for Chancellor Merkel,” wrote economist Holger Schmieding in a recent article. “Momentum has turned slightly against her center-right coalition.”

In the run-up to the Sunday general election, Merkel’s coalition has launched an attack on the AfD party.

“These people claim ‘We’d be better off economically without the euro’,” Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said. “That claim is totally wrong, has no credibility and is extremely dangerous for our prosperity.”

Political experts say that the AfD is attracting support from the traditional voter base of Merkel™s government.

GJH/HN/MHB

Copyright: Press TV