Less than a year away from the European elections on June 9, 2024, will 2024 be the year of “even more to the right”, when the famous glass ceiling explodes, as it did in Italy, whereas some conservatives parties already in the Germany ( CDU not in the ruling coalition) stressed and again they would never compromise with the far right, but based on the current polls, they start redoing their figures and projections in case, to adapt to the possible new situation in 2024. This has already started in local elections in some of the Länder (regions), no doubt this will happen.
The polls and the oracles indicate that the percentage obtained by the AFD would double compare with the previous election, if the election were held now.
The European Union three driving forces, France, Germany and Italy are struggling to maintain the pre-pandemic status quo. France is faced with a multitude of emergencies, and at the same time with an abysmal debt burden, exacerbated by rising interest rates. Germany, traditionally an exporter, is seeing its sales fall substantially, particularly in China, and its market share in the EU dwindle due to strong Chinese competition. Technically, Germany is in recession. The US Inflation reduction Act of 2022 consisting of 400 billion subsidies to the US MADE industry has added to the burden. Various projects in Germany have been either stopped or transferred to the US in order to benefit from them. What is more, the coalition is under considerable strain. Italy, with its very right-wing government, has broken the glass ceiling, but has to face the largest waves of migrants ever reaching its coast (Lampedusa island received in one single day over 6.000 people, more than the island population) , in stark contrast to Mrs. MELLONI’s program, which stressed her very strong opposition to migrants, as a major point of her agenda. Inflation, which is worsening the economic situation and provoking widespread discontent.
The AFD (Alternative for Germany) was founded in 2013 in the former German Democratic Republic, with its 16 million citizens, which was reunited with the Federal Republic in 1990. It began to establish itself locally in the 4 eastern Länder (regions) by entering local parliaments. In 2017, it succeeded with over 12% in the federal elections. The most pessimistic polls predict that its current percentage of 10% will be maintained at worst and doubled at best. In the east, it reaches 20% and sometimes more, compared with 10-11% in the rest of Germany.
The party currently has 78 seats in the Federal Parliament out of 736. It has gone from being Euro-critical to Euro-skeptical. It has evolved rapidly. From 2014 onwards, the AFD became populist, thanks to its successes. In 2015, Germany welcomed almost a million migrants. The serious incidents in Cologne, involving migrants, will be widely used in its propaganda.
Regional elections will be held in 2024, as will the European elections on June 9. These two elections crystallize the attention of the entire European political class, as they precede the federal elections in autumn 2025.
Therefore, the June 9 elections are of the utmost importance for the European Union. As this is a single-round direct proportional election, it will be the barometer, in real time, of the extreme right’s position in Europe.
The 83-million-strong Federal Republic is an exemplary parliamentary democracy. It is made up of 16 regions, including the 4 former eastern provinces. Each region has its own government, headed by a Minister-President with extensive prerogatives. This means that local roots and presence is essential to reach a higher step.
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AFD has perfectly integrated local networking, even at the smallest local level. It has even succeeded in getting a mayor elected for the first time. It makes massive use of social networks, penetrating every household quickly and forcefully.
The proposed themes
The two pillars of German politics were economic prosperity and stability. Since the pandemic followed by the conflict in Ukraine, these two pillars are shaking.
Initially, the party made extensive use of the perceived social and economic inequality in the former German Democratic Republic whose GDP was 43% that of the West. The gap has never really been closed. The current crisis has rekindled it. Advertisement
The AFD’s political and economic offer has adapted to German voters.
The party defines itself as offering “The alternative for those who have none”, a slogan that sounds even more aggressive in German.
Against the elite
Political and economic instability with all its social consequences. A phenomenon unknown to present generations
Fear aroused by the threat posed by the conflict in Ukraine, where Germany is at the forefront both militarily and politically.
Inflation hitting family budgets.
Introduction of the threat of the Great Replacement
Loss of confidence in the 3 coalition parties, which promise a lot but don’t seem able to meet citizens’ expectations.
The use of simple rhetoric resonates with the working classes, the disadvantaged, the unemployed, the habitual abstainers and protesters. At the same time, disappointed voters for the government parties are turning to the extreme right.
The party’s anti-Semitism and racism
His position is ambivalent. To win the support of the Jewish community, it thematized the hatred of Muslims for Jews by forging the image of “a common enemy, Islam”. On the jewish side, the refusal was categorical: no collaboration with this party. However, it was able to recruit a handful of die-hard Jews who set up a group within the AFP, but with only around 30 members.
Faced with this refusal, its leaders developed a new concept, labelled “Globalism”, which blends anti-Americanism with the Jews supposed having control over major world political decisions. An mixture of power, money and the cosmopolitanism of the Jews, who would like to take revenge for the Shoah.
It also seems clear that the special relationship between Germany and the United States is at the root of this concept. What’s more, the recent signing of the huge contract to supply the Arrow 3 air defense system is not without provoking a feeling of rejection in some quarters. The AFD is also keen to change the German narrative. It wants to reduce the period of Nazism not to a “detail of history”, but to reduce this dramatic period to a simple episode no more important than others in more glorious times. The party has developed new codes to communicate more subtly and with adapted political marketing.
Who are the AFD voters?
13% have an average education.
6% have a higher education.
21% are salaried employees.
17% are jobless.
What recent opinion polls tell us,
Anti-Semitism is most widespread among Muslims. In the AFD, anti-Semitic sentiment is more widespread than in the rest of the German population, the vast majority of whom are not anti-Semitic. Nevertheless, the issue has become sufficiently burning that the government has appointed a delegate for Jewish life and the fight against anti-Semitism, Mr. Felix Klein. He noted that “the forgetfulness of history in Germany is alarming”, adding that before this observation, he thought that the integration of Muslims would make the subject disappear.
Out of a German population of 83 million, 4% think that Jews are devious. This figure rises to 12% among Muslims, 26% of whom think that the rich Jews rule the world, 16% of whom believe that the state of Israel should not exist, while 4% shares the same thinking. In addition, Muslims represent between 6% to 7% of the total population, a large proportion of whom have become German citizens, primarily those of Turkish emigration. The percentage of declared anti-Semites among AFD voters is 6%, compared with 2% for the rest of the voters. Even stranger and more worrying, 7% of Muslims say they accept the use of violence against Jews, compared with just 2% of the rest of the population. That is still too many people. There are 118,000 Jews in Germany, or 0.14% of the population, divided into 108 communities.
More than 70 years after the end of National Socialism, Jews are increasingly facing attacks in Germany. “Anti-Semitism has become more presentable”. With less than a year to go before the European elections, it is likely that we will see an intensification of attacks, including possible bombings, as in the recent past. The worsening of the political situation in the EU is likely to lead to this situation, in conjunction with the increase in propaganda and provocations. One more factor may be added, people are getting tired by the war in Ukraine and its increasing cost to the expense of citizen. It is easy to see why the German government doesn’t want to be overwhelmed by its extremes. Finally, if a new coalition were to emerge, with the AFD winning 20% of the vote on a par with the major parties, Israel would certainly show realism and cooperate, especially after becoming a major supplier of a European defense system. Let us meet again next June 2024.