Alternative für Deutschland is blowing across Germany like a tornado. The party won 12.6pc in Brandenburg and 10.6pc in Thuringia a week ago, following its success in Saxony. It has now broken into three regional parliaments. The free market FDP is being systematically destroyed. Now AfD is ripping into the Left-wing base of Die Linke as well.
They have seven seats in the European Parliament. We saw potent effects of that yesterday as party leader Bernd Lucke personally grilled the ECB’s Mario Draghi at a session of the economic and monetary affairs committee.
He specifically attacked ECB plans for asset purchases, insisting that there is already more than enough liquidity in the financial system to head off deflation. QE-lite is merely a way to shift credit risk from the high-debt states to the creditor core (a quasi fiscal policy that circumvents the sovereign prerogatives of the Bundestag), he said, and it will not work anyway. “You are saddling up the wrong horse because you don’t have another one in the stable,” he said.
Mr Lucke is a professor of economics at Hamburg University, a specialist on the real business cycle model. His right-hand man is Hans-Olaf Henkel, former head of the Federation of German Industry and a financial columnist for Handelsblatt. These are serious men. Attempts to dismiss them as fringe romantics, and lately far-Right rabble-rousers, are unlikely to work. AfD has for the first time given disaffected Germans a way to protest without stigma.
Some Germans, more than others, will not rest until the euro project “goes up in smoke”. I already feel sorry for the possible consequences: