As austerity continues to bite hard right across Europe the creation of protest groups and anti-Euro political groups has become more and more common, often these groups form in nations most at risk or suffering the most, but surprisingly a new anti-Euro group is forming in the Eurozone’s powerhouse and biggest beneficiary of the single currency, Germany.
The new party called Alternative for Germany hopes to officially form in the spring ahead of the upcoming German general elections and is hoping to win votes on its policy to abandon European efforts to prop up the struggling single currency. Their goal is: “the dissolution of the Euro in favour of national currencies or smaller currency unions.” They also want to see an end to the aid payments being handed over to countries such as Spain, Portugal and Greece. They also want to dismantle the European Stability mechanism fund.
The founder of the group Bernd Lucke, a macro-economics professor who was a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats for 33 years said; “The current, so-called rescue policies are exclusively focused on short-term interests, primarily those of the banks.”
Typically anti-European groups are generalised as right-wing or dismissed by Europhiles. This group however should be taken seriously as it is thought to be comprised of a number of the country’s top academics and economists. In a statement on the group’s website they say;
“Democracy is eroding. The will of the people regarding decisions related to the Euro is never queried and is not represented in parliament. The government is depriving voters of a voice through disinformation, is pressuring constitutional organ, like parliament and the Constitutional Court, and is making far-reaching decisions in committees that have no democratic legitimacy.”
The political group has yet to formally form into a party but plans to do so in April. It will also have to collect 2,000 signatures in each of the 16 German states if it wants to stand in the autumns general elections. The group revealed that it has been ‘overwhelmed by positive the public reaction thus far.’
With the likes of UKIP gaining ground in the UK and the large percentage of the vote won in the Italian elections by the protest Five Star Movement anti-austerity and anti-Euro party’s appear to be on the rise. With the Euro crisis continuing to roll on, unemployment continuing to rise and renewed protests across the region the anti-Euro party’s look set to continue to gather support.
Unemployment in France has hit a 13-year high increasing concerns that the Eurozone’s second largest economy is sliding into recession. Greece meanwhile saw a fresh bout of violence as up to a 1,000 protestors clashed with police in Athens and a homemade explosive device exploded in the centre of the city, luckily no one was injured.
In efforts to reduce the chance of market turmoil returning EU leaders are turning their attention to the bailout of Cyprus. The bloc’s leaders are due to meet on March 14th-15th in Brussels to discuss terms for the debt ridden nation.
Despite the signs that the Eurocrsis is continuing apace German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble told an Austrian newspaper; “We haven’t turned the corner yet, but we’re on a good path. It would be wrong at this point to change course.”
Alternative for Germany probably have something to say about that.
Current Euro exchange rates
As of 11:00 am
The Euro to Pound Sterling exchange rate is currently trading in the region of 0.8712
The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading in the region of 1.3006
The Euro to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading in the region of 1.2711
The Euro to New Zealand Dollar exchange rate is currently trading in the region of 1.5852