Merkel ‘to blame for AfD existence’ & will be challenged by new reality – analysts to RT
The historic success of the right-wing AfD party in the parliamentary elections has stunned many Germans, but experts say that Chancellor Angela Merkel created it herself. RT spoke to analysts to discuss what led to this result and what is to be expected.
The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party entered parliament for the first time in its history with 12.6 percent of the vote in the German election, according to official preliminary results. Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and its Bavarian sister-party, CSU, won the majority of seats in Bundestag, finishing with 33 percent – the lowest result in more than half a century.
The secured presence in the parliament of a party that has been repeatedly labeled as “racist,” “Islamophobic” and even “Nazi” from German Muslims and left-wing politicians has triggered protests, anger and regret of many citizens. While Merkel has said that she regrets that the AfD are “attacking us personally, so they are a threat to our health, to our person,” she herself is to blame for their mere existence, political observer Steven Meissner told RT.
“It’s her fault that the AfD even exists. It would never have existed, never have reason under say [former German chancellor and chairman of CDU] Helmut Kohl. He would never have allowed this, he would never have moved the party the way Merkel did,” Meissner told RT in Berlin.
The chancellor “has moved the [CDU] party from right-center party to left-center party,” thus creating “a massive gap on the right.”
READ MORE: German electoral system oddities: What you need to know about it
“Merkel destroyed the SPD by crashing them on the left, but has opened a massive gap on the right,” Meissner said, adding the space on the right “has now been filled with a new party.”
“She has basically eliminated all her opponents within the party all these years.”
The political analyst added that Merkel has changed her rhetoric through years, even if one compares her views on migrant issues – some 12 years ago Merkel used to say that multiculturalism does not work and now she opens the borders, according to Meissner.
Merkel got ‘slap in face’ for migration policy
The newcomers to the German parliament mark “enormous psychological breakthrough” for the country and could force the government to rethink its immigration policy, Dutch Journalist Joost Niemoller told RT.
“Enormous psychological breakthrough for the Germans that AfD just became an important part of Bundestag now. So there will be now for the first time real discussions about immigration, which never happened before,” Niemoller said.
The journalist believes that Merkel got “an enormous slap in her face” for her decision to let in 1 million people without asking her own citizens and lawmakers.
The election results are actually “a nightmare for Germany,” according to Uli Brueckner, professor of European Studies at Stanford University in Berlin.
“Looks at first side as a very tricky situation. Symbolically speaking, this is a nightmare and a very sad day for Germany to have right-wingers with such an extreme rhetoric and core beliefs being represented in German Bundestag,” Brueckner told RT. He added that it will be “a challenge for everyone involved.”
The only option now can be a mix of the CDU, the Free Democrats (FDP), and the Greens, commonly known as the ‘Jamaica Coalition’, the latter never having made it to the national government before, according to Brueckner.
READ MORE: Who's who in Germany's new parliament
“As it stands today, there is a chance that we see an experiment which is the Jamaica coalition which we don’t have any experience with on a national level, but the leaders seem to get along with each other and after being out of the government for so long,” Brueckner said adding that he is confident that they will find a compromise to form a coalition.
However, Martin Schulz’s Social Democrats (SPD) could be still a coalition option for Merkel’s CDU, despite Schulz’s statements on joining the opposition, according to Niemoller. The journalists thinks that it is only “a political play” to improve his positions.
“It’s more rhetoric, I think he is not really serious about going in the opposition. I think he is just playing a game,” Niemoller said.
READ MORE: Man of the people, or Euro fat cat? Chancellor hopeful Martin Schulz bids to take Merkel’s post
Schulz’s ruling out a coalition with Merkel, puts her “in a very weak position,” but does the opposite for the SPD party leader, according Niemoller.
“He leaves space for pro-EU, pro-open borders parties, which is the opposite to what Merkel said she wants to do,” Brueckner told RT, adding that could make the chancellor seek a partnership with the SPD anyway.