Alternative für Detschland – what is it and where did it come fromby Giuseppe Terranova - 2017.09.25
For the first time since WWII, with the slogan “Germany First” that comes very close to the “America First” of Donald Trump, a right-wing party has entered the German Parliament. At the political elections held yesterday in Germany, Alternative für Deutschland (AFD) in fact won 12.4% of the vote and elected 94 members of parliament. Founded by a group of anti-euro intellectuals headed by Professor Bernd Lucke, it first appeared at the 2013 elections without reaching the crucial threshold of 5% (4.7%) necessary to qualify for the allocation of parliamentary seats. Success came a few years later. All down to Frauke Petry, who after having dismissed Bernd Lucke from the top job, shifted the direction of the AFD towards extreme right positions flirting with Pegida (the German Anti-Islam party) and criticising the pro-immigration policies of Angela Merken. A winning recipe that transformed the party into a formidable catalyst for the fears aroused in many citizens by emergency refugees and jihadist attacks that have hit Germany. Under Petry’s leadership the AFD entered into no less than 10 of 16 regional parliaments. However, with success have come those that the enemies of this movement are now waging on (or hoping for): internal divisions. That, not by chance, have also forced Petry to throw in the sponge to give way to the tandem of Alice Weidel, the lesbian married to a Swiss of Sri Lankan origin, and the seventy-plus year old Alexander Gauland. They are the architects of yesterday’s success.
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