German Elections: Their Impact on the EU and Greece

The results of the German elections have demonstrated—once again—that the citizens of EU countries are strongly opposed to any attempts for the enforcement of globalisation. After a constant electoral surge of the nationalist parties in Austria, the Netherlands and France, and Britain’s vote on leaving the EU (Brexit), the entry of the AfD party (Alternative for Germany) in the Bundestag confirmed this reality. Despite the fact that the EU’s leading elite appears to be surprised and bewildered by the outcome, it actually expected it and was not really taken aback.

Some political analysts even claim that Brussels executives are actually somewhat relieved, as they had thought that the AfD’s vote share would be around 15%, perhaps even higher. The reason why Brussels had that reaction is obvious: Eurocrats have become aware of the public contempt for the systemic parties in Europe, given that these have ceased to represent people’s aspirations, are not concerned about serving the national interests of their countries nor do they struggle to solve the problems that their fellow compatriots are facing, but instead they only serve the best interests of a pan-European political, economic and social oligarchy that has been willingly cut off from reality and acts a vehicle to reach the goals of globalisation.

Besides, they are absolutely sure about next month’s electoral outcome in the Czech Republic, where the ANO Eurosceptic party founded by Andrej Babiš has taken a lead in the polls; the 2018 elections in Italy where there is a great deal of Euroscepticism; and the elections in Greece, a country afflicted by the MoUs. Their real nightmare, however, is the 2019 European Parliament election, the system of which they are—furiously, yet unsuccessfully—seeking to change in order to save themselves. They foresee a total collapse of the traditionally large European parties and a dramatic change in the political spectrum of all the countries in Europe.

The presence of AfD in the German Bundestag as the third-biggest party has already caused a turmoil in the country’s political establishment and is expected to have a significant impact at both national and European levels. First of all, the likelihood of forming a strong government majority through a cooperation between CDU and SPD (Social Democrats), as has been the case so far, is now out of the question. In that case, the Alternative for Germany would become the largest opposition party, a prospect that no-one desires. Consequently, Chancellor Merkel will be forced to form a government with FDP (Free Democrats) and the Greens.

However, their coexistence would face great difficulties because these two smaller parties have some fixed demands from which they do not want to retreat. The Greens reject the position of the Christian Democrats to put a limit on the number of immigrants and refugees that Germany can receive. The Liberals, who appear to be a party of entrepreneurship, the industrial establishment and the people of the market, have differences with the Greens on immigration and energy, and with Merkel on the issues of Eurozone enlargement and the automatic transfer of funds in Europe. They also oppose the creation of a joint EU Ministry of Finance.

Merkel has realised that the AfD triumph is not just a simple form of reaction or protest but a much deeper pattern of rational behaviour displayed by people who are suffering from a lack of security, economic prosperity and social justice, and have tried, through their vote, to change the prevailing situation in their country. As one might expect, she wants to attract these voters and, for that reason, she is going to follow a policy aimed at dispelling their fears. This means she has no other choice but walk a tightrope without even a safety net.

On economic issues, she will have to work with Macron, who wishes to expand and, in general, reform the Eurozone. At this point, she would have to bypass reactions from the Greens against French plans for institutional changes, and the Liberals, who support Germany’s sovereignty over the Eurozone. At the same time, she will have to face tough opposition coming from AfD, which strongly supports a German exit from the euro, and the reactions sparked in many European countries that do not accept their transformation into a political and economic dependency of Germany.

However, the biggest difficulties will be encountered in dealing with issues that have reduced her party’s vote share and contributed to the surge of AfD. She is obliged to revise her immigration policy and to drastically limit the entry of legal and illegal migrants who have increased the fears of the average German over his country being Islamised and the influx of cheap labour that threatens his employment and his income.

Moreover, in order to bring a sense of security back into the world, which has been so disturbed by Islamic terrorism and the increasing incidents of sexual assaults against German women, tough measures must be taken for border control and the punishment of those who break law and order. This policy is expected to cause tensions with Poland and Hungary—but also with Merkel’s government partners.

Another challenge for that co-existence is the stance that should be adopted towards Turkey. Taking advantage of the roughly four million Turks living in Germany, Erdoğan has not only attacked the Merkel administration verbally, but also interfered in the electoral process. It is therefore expected that Germany will take a firm stance against Turkey and will not accept the resumption of talks on Turkey’s entry into the EU nor the upgrading of the Customs Union between the two sides. The same viewpoints are shared by the Liberals. This development is likely to sour the bilateral relations even more, in which case Erdoğan might re-launch a massive smuggling of illegal migrants into Greece.

As far as the effects of the German elections in our country are concerned, we must be realistic, not delusional. Whatever the government coalition, whoever the Finance Minister will be, the pressure on our country will not ease. Unfortunately, Greece has been brought under the control of Germany, the parties of the Greek political establishment surrendered without a fight, and the people are suffering the odious and deplorable consequences of this treason. It is utopian to believe that a new German government would accept to alleviate the debt burden of our country.

Liberal Chairman Lindner is stridently against any offer to Greece and in favour of its withdrawal from the euro. He has also expressed his support for the presence of the IMF in Greece so that it does a debt sustainability analysis. The Greens have not taken a clear stand on this issue. On the other hand, the Alternative for Germany is seeking not only to expel Greece from the Eurozone but also to dismantle the Eurozone altogether. Some of its executive members are already referring to the break-up of the Eurozone, proposing one zone for the North and one for the South.

It is expected that the dispute with Erdoğan will have another negative impact on our country. If he decides to carry out his threats, the already existing problem of the illegal migrants will grow and lead to unpredictable consequences. Subsequently, the war against Greece will continue under the new German government until the final goal is reached: the misery of the Greek people and the seizure of our resources. That is why we have to keep fighting to recover what we have lost—and not agree to hand over what little is left to us.
Georgios Epitideios
Retired Army Lieutenant General
Member of the European Parliament
for the Popular Association “Golden Dawn”