German parties move further to the right after AfD’s electoral success


German parties move further to the right after AfD’s electoral success

Johannes Stern

26 September 2017

The same parties that are ideologically and politically responsible for the rise of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) are exploiting the right-wing extremists’ success in Sunday’s federal elections to shift the political climate even further to the right. They are preparing the way for a government that will launch a major military buildup, slash wages and benefits, and establish the framework of a police state.

Within the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the forces that have long been calling on Angela Merkel, the party chairwoman and German chancellor, to crack down more aggressively on refugees are seizing the offensive. “We urgently need more programmatic breadth within the CDU,” said Bundestag (parliament) member and finance specialist Klaus-Peter Willsch. “We have to cover our right wing. That is the only way we can once again achieve the level of support we need to be a people’s party.”

Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU), sister party to the CDU, which already during the election campaign raised the demand for an upper limit on refugees, responded to its vote decline of more than 10 percentage points by largely adopting the AfD’s programme. CSU Chairman Horst Seehofer, who is under increased pressure from the right, said that the AfD gained votes because the CDU/CSU “left open its right flank.” The party would now correct this and adopt a “clear stance.” Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt concurred, saying, “We have understood that we have to close our right flank.”

The Greens, who are preparing to enter a so-called “Jamaica” governing coalition with the CDU/CSU and the neo-liberal Free Democrat Party (FDP), are…

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