The nationalist Alternative for Germany is on the rise in state elections in Saxony, Brandenburg and Thuringia, where it is by far the strongest party.
This success has infuriated the leader of the Social Democrats in the Bundestag, Bärbel Bas. She claims that all of “democracy” is under threat, as voters abandon the old establishment parties in favor of the AfD and other upstarts.
– When I look at the current surveys, I am particularly concerned about the state elections in September 2024 in three eastern German states… it could actually be difficult to form stable governments there, she said, ignoring the fact that her party has only single-digit support in Saxony and Thuringia.
According to Bas (SPD), it is a “real democracy problem” that voters are abandoning the old established parties and that a third of East Germans now sympathize with the AfD. Moreover, it is uncertain whether the mainstream parties can unite to “stop” the nationalists.
– A minority government is already challenging when there are only constructive factions in parliament. It becomes all the more difficult when there are forces that are always actively working against it – then there is a real threat of democracy.
– Populists are on the rise in many countries, which worries me—for our democracy as a whole. There are also forces that want to completely abolish our democracy. That should be clear to everyone, she said.
Appeal to allies
According to the president, all “democratic forces” must now do everything they can to work together and form a government – all to prevent the AfD from gaining any influence. Several of these parties have already called for a complete ban of the nationalist party.
As in Sweden with the Sweden Democrats, some right-wing German parties have recently moved closer to the AfD. In Thuringia, the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) and the FDP (Free Democratic Party) managed to pass tax cuts with the support of the nationalists.
Analysts say that bourgeois parties are expected to take a tougher stance on migration to prevent their voters from abandoning them and voting for nationalists such as AfD instead.
Germany and Sweden have long been the two European countries that have pursued the most extreme and borderless migration policies – even under “right wing” governments – which is seen by many as resulting in a host of major problems such as crime, insecurity, poverty, causing widespread public discontent.