Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 24, 2017

A German Election Analysis

As your host is German you may want to read his opinion and  analysis of today's federal election results in Germany.

German election results (ARD 6pm exit poll) Update: Preliminary official result:

  • CDU/CSU - 33.0%
  • SPD - 20.5%
  • AfD - 12.6%
  • FDP - 10.7%
  • Left - 9.2%
  • Greens - 8.9%

No great surprise there.

The participation rate slightly increased to 76.2%.

The result is bad for the top-candidates Merkel (CDU) and Schulz (SPD). The CDU lost 9 percentage points compared to the 2013 election, the SPD lost 5. These two parties once held a total of 81% of votes between them. They are now down to 53% of total votes.

Voter migration analysis will show that the CDU loss was caused by Merkel's centrist and socially liberal policies and especially her gigantic immigration ("refugees") mistake. It caused the right-wing CDU voters to go over to the new right-wing party AFD. Other CDU voters (re-)joined the FDP.

Her party will punish Merkel for this catastrophic result. I doubt that she has two or more years left in her position. Her party will shun her and move away from the center and back into its traditional moderate-right corner.

The voters lost by the formerly moderate-left, now also centrist, SPD went over to The Left and the FDP. Many also abstained.

The FDP is back in the game after having been kicked out of parliament is the 2013 elections. The Greens and the Left Party results are mostly unchanged.

Over the last 25 years both of the traditionally big parties, CDU and SPD, had moved from their moderate-right, respectively moderate-left positions towards a "centrist" neo-liberalism. In consequence The Left split off the SPD and now the AFD from the CDU.

The AFD is by no means a "Nazi" party though a few Nazis may hide under its mantle. The voters are mostly traditionalist, staunch conservatives and anti-globalization. They were earlier part of the CDU.

The SPD will not want to enter another government coalition with Merkel, It played Merkel's junior partner over the last eight years and that led to ever increasing voter losses. It nearly killed the party. The mistake of selecting the colorless Schulz as top-candidate will lead to some (necessary) blood loss in the party's leadership. SPD head Gabriel will, like Schulz, have to step back from leadership positions.

Merkel will have difficulties forming a coalition. She will avoid the AFD as her campaign had discriminated that party as "Nazi" (in itself a huge strategic mistake). She will try to build a coalition with the Green and the FDP. It will be enough to rule for a while but is a somewhat unstable configuration.

The new parliament will be more lively than the previous ones under the large CDU-SPD coalition. More parties and a real opposition will create more public discussions.

We will likely have new elections within the next two years.

Posted by b on September 24, 2017 at 17:40 UTC | Permalink

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"This is not "9/10 don't support her immigrant policies". Quite the contrary."

Actually it is, its the first paragraph:

The survey shows that only 11 percent of Germans disagree with the idea of an upper limit placed on the number of asylum seekers the country takes in, the poll by Infratest showed.

100-11=89% thats close to "9/10".

13% is alot for AfD, millions of germans voted Afd after they had voted for the CDU for decades.
What will AFD get next election? 20%? More? And we all know that CDU will get even lower than the recent election if she Merkel gov. keeps her pro-immigration policies vs pulbic opinion intact.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 26 2017 14:21 utc | 101

Add to 97

As a matter of fact 53,5 percent of Germans voted for a continuation of Merkel's coalition ie support her policies.

If the Social Democrats had not decided to reinvent themselves, German government would continue as is.

Rumor is that - should the Jamaica coalition fail - Social Democrats will offer a SPD/CDU/CSU coalition without Angela Merkel.

Angela Merkel could then step down or call new elections.

There is automatic software.

There can be too many links, your post is too long or your links are on a blacklist.

Try what you want to say without a link and any word that might potentially trigger the software and the post will go through like your post 98

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 14:24 utc | 102

To @Anon (96)

Facts first, no?

Just compare!

Posted by: Fritz F. | Sep 26 2017 14:25 utc | 103

@Somebody - thanks a lot!

I want to support the idea: facts first! - in this written form it might go through, hopefully! A part of the German populace, imprisoned in its own mental jail, is even more dumb than a 35% marge of the Turks. And to come to level with them is damned hard!

Posted by: Fritz F. | Sep 26 2017 14:30 utc | 104

have you considered the rise of the afd party is quite convenient for the German government , as by now everyone knows that the big winner in this Melting pot we Call "Europe" is Germany (Germany trade surplus has just hit the highest level since records began: $270 billion) , and quite a few voices from southern Europe are rising for a Reform of The EU with more integration and more "solidarity" ( word that German decision makers are quite allergic to ) , why would the German "elite" want to change the rules of a game that has given them the advantage .....

you should read these interesting article from the Duran :

German election’s message to Greece: looks like Grexit is coming ( )

The German election is a disaster for France’s Macron: Here’s why ( )

Posted by: M | Sep 26 2017 14:32 utc | 105

102 I am afraid to discriminate against Germans from Saxonia is not the solution and may be part of the problem. They were considered stupid and used to man the wall in GDR times already :-))

But yes, there is a disconnect. I live in Frankfurt and Eastern German people in all seriousness tell me that it must be extremely dangerous there with all the foreigners. Of course it is not. If bankers can't protect themselves who can?

103 As with BREXIT there is a part of the elite in support of AFD for various reasons - not just German elites. Insight into AFD funding would be interesting as they are well funded - not just by winning government seats.

But for the overwhelming majority of German elites AFD is an embarrassement

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 14:57 utc | 106

@Somebody before mocking others about their educational background, how about getting your numerics right. In my opinion people who struggle with most basic maths usually fail to convince me in other matters as well. The 1920s did not end in 1924. I recommend you read up on Schacht and on how Germany industrialized in the late 19th century, where finance was actually used to contribute to production/productivity unlike the financialized industry of today. Something tells me, however, that you are far too convinced of how the world works(ed) to accept anyone lecturing you. Good luck with your globalization and open borders sir, you and your salary will need it.

Posted by: Alexander P | Sep 26 2017 16:27 utc | 107

Fritz F 101

What are your point? That immigration breeds divisive societies? Thats my base argument!

Posted by: Anon | Sep 26 2017 16:32 utc | 108

@ Anon (106)
That those people who did not have contacts with foreigners and do not know them are their strongest opponents. In areas where people are accustomed with foreign-origined people in all their shades since long the AfD did not get by far such high votes. The recommended maps show this very clear. A big part of the election results are based on uninformed collective low-education hysterical phantasies. - Germans who had the doubtful pleasure of reading voices from there in social media know exactly what I mean. Bullshit about the Koran (the majority of Muslims is quite indifferent about religon, but does not like to be insulted) you can find only in the American „new right“ circles. The success of Germany always depends on its ability to avoid xenophobic brain killing.

Posted by: Fritz F. | Sep 26 2017 16:46 utc | 109

Fritz F

That argument makes no sense, in fact its is just because AFD voters know what the refugees are about they vote for parties like AFD.

Pick a voter of AFD and a mainstream media-voter/party and see who knows the most about immigration problems and you would see that the AFD voter know far more than the gullible mainstream-media/party voter.

Not sure how there could be a "fantasy" either since alot of AFD voters are quite poor and thats why you find them in that eastern part of the map. No surprises.

Lets say your argument is correct, what is that the AFD voter dont know about immigrants? That alot of them are
1. Unemployed?
2. Involved in crimes?
3. Majority dont have housings?

You get the point? There is no positive things about immigration, that a sad but true fact.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 26 2017 17:38 utc | 110

It does not get any better. Now your timeline is in the great depression

The impact on Weimar Germany was even more dire. Germans were not so much reliant on exports as they were on American loans, which had been propping up the Weimar economy since 1924. No further loans were issued from late 1929, while American financiers began to call in existing loans. Despite its rapid growth, the German economy was not equipped for this retraction of cash and capital. Banks struggled to provide money and credit; in 1931 there were runs on German and Austrian banks and several of them folded. In 1930 the US, the largest purchaser of German industrial exports, put up tariff barriers to protect its own companies. German industrialists lost access to US markets and found credit almost impossible to obtain. Many industrial companies and factories either closed or shrank dramatically. By 1932 German industrial production was at 58 per cent of its 1928 levels. The effect of this decline was spiraling unemployment. By the end of 1929 around 1.5 million Germans were out of work; within a year this figure had more than doubled. By early 1933 unemployment in Germany had reached a staggering six million.

Notice how globalized the economy was even then?

Add the failed Dawes plan from 1924

The United States was alert to the impact such events might have in Europe. If Germany could not meet her reparations obligations, the French would respond and possibly instigate another war. The Americans also had their own interests in mind. The US was itself owed large sums by Paris and London; the repayment of these loans hinged on the French and British taking receipt of German reparations. In 1924 the Americans organised a ten-man international committee to examine the situation in Germany and consider the problem of reparations. At the head of this committee they placed Charles G. Dawes, a wealthy Chicago banker, former brigadier-general and veteran of World War I. A no-nonsense man who spoke as he thought, Dawes told delegates to the committee that the heavy-handedness of Versailles treaty placed Europe in a dangerous position. He called for more practical approaches to the treatment of Germany: ... The Dawes Plan had an immediate effect. Vast amounts of money poured into Germany – most of it from the United States. The impact of these loans were most visible in the industrial sector. New factories and infrastructure projects were initiated, leading to job creation and a sharp fall in unemployment. The living standards of many Germans began to increase, for the first time since before World War I. There were improvements to German cities, including the construction of new houses and facilities such as shops and cinemas. Germany’s share of world trade increased and by 1929 her exports were 34 per cent higher than they had been in 1913. ... The Dawes Plan allowed for the recovery of German industry, the restoration of a stable currency and a better way of life for millions of Germans. But for the most part these positive outcomes were superficial or occurred in the short-term. The consensus reached by most historians and economists is that the Dawes Plan placed too much emphasis on loans, rather than internal measures or reforms. The German economy became too reliant on foreign money, capital and trade, instead of generating these things domestically. Any economic recession abroad, particularly in the United States, would have immediate knock-on effects in Germany. The Dawes Plan also failed to solve the reparations dilemma; despite the reduction in quarterly instalment figures, Germany continued to default on them. This led to the formulation of the Young Plan (1929), which spread Germany’s annual reparations payments over a 59-year period, with the final payment to be made in 1988. Annual payments were pegged at a maximum of two billion gold marks – but Berlin had an option to defer up to two thirds of this amount, should economic circumstances make paying the full instalment impossible. Americans also played a leading role in the development of the Young Plan. The committee chairman, Owen D. Young, was named Time magazine’s Man of the Year (1929) for his leadership of the committee.

Germany the end of 1920 sounds a lot like Greece today I would say.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 18:06 utc | 111


"That argument makes no sense, in fact its is just because AFD voters know what the refugees are about they vote for parties like AFD."

It is fact. Fritz posted the maps. AfD got 20 percent of vote in places where there are hardly any Muslims/refugees/foreigners.

AfD got only few votes in places where people mix most ie Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 18:14 utc | 112

I did not follow German politics. Greens are a bit weird party, with roughly two principles: (a) no nukes, (b) openness to immigration. They used to be leftish on welfare etc., but now their most successful politician could as well be a member of CDU or FDP. Thus rastafarian coalition seems to make better sense that the "grand coalition".

But the differences between four parties that form the German mainstream are sufficiently small that they can fend Linke and Alternative away from power for several election cycles, thus they can take their time trying to figure what to change, if anything.

Btw, why "volkish" AfD use English spelling for "Alternative"? Germans have a weird taste for hybrid words and expressions. For example, Deutsche Bahn was promoting special trains for university spring break, with names "jugendtrain" and "partyzug". On a German menu I have seen kartofelwedges.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 26 2017 18:15 utc | 113

111 was an answer to 107

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 18:16 utc | 114


German and English are very related but of course there are now a lot of English words in German language.

Alternative happens to be of Latin origin and it is spelled the same in English, German and French.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 18:18 utc | 115


It is in fact its is just because AFD voters know what the refugees are about (unemployment, crimes, no household) they vote for parties like AFD.

You and Fritz F. seems to believe in a fallacy where you must live in place x to vote against x.
If you live in one part of the country and hear there is alot of crimes, poverty, problems related to refugees in the other part of the country - you of course vote for a party that is against accepting more refugees, pretty simple logic.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 26 2017 18:42 utc | 116


I agree. A party can create fear by telling people that refugees are dangerous only if these people have no personal contact with refugees to know that this is not true.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 19:09 utc | 117


I have showed you links after links about crimes, unemployment, poverty and AfD voters are not blind they see whats going on in the western part of Germany.
No party need to "create fear" as you claim, its the real world. No wonder AfD east germans dont want that kind of society in the east.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 26 2017 19:15 utc | 118

Almost Half of Crimes in Berlin Committed by Migrants

No wonder AfD is strong in the east?

Posted by: Anon | Sep 26 2017 19:22 utc | 119


Berlin results

Die Linke/Green Party win in the areas where most foreigners live. AfD only gets votes in the eastern outskirts - no foreigners there.

Unemployment and poverty - strong in East Germany - no foreigners to blame.

Real world in the East of Germany - structurally weak, deindustrialized, depopulated, lack of investment, no foreigners

Facts about rape, murder and violence - it is mostly a friend or family - link is from US but that is the same world wide.

Fact about crime in East Germany - their first problem came when the wall came down.

The greatest concern of police has been an increase in violent crime by skinheads and neo-Nazis.

``We are angry about the cruel crimes the skinheads commit,`` said Wolfgang Schinz, criminal police director in western Berlin. ``They don`t just rob people; they hurt their victims very badly, and many are elderly women.`` Neo-Nazi activity has resulted in three deaths so far-a Mozambican pushed off a tram in Dresden, an Angolan beaten to death in Eberswald and a neo-Nazi leader shot to death in Dresden, apparently by pimps.

In addition to carrying out racial attacks, neo-Nazis have waged war on prostitution, homosexuality and drugs, and have trashed sex shops in eastern cities. ``They are very nationalistic and want to keep our territory clean,`` Horn said.
Horn said few eastern banks have surveillance cameras. Their direct phone lines to the police are often out of order. Small-town banks have no security guards.

``In cases that we`ve solved, 60 percent of the robbers came from western Germany and 25 percent from the east,`` he said. ``The rest were joint east-west operations.``

Horn noted that, under communism, crime statistics were kept secret because crime conflicted with the official view of a happy society in which everyone worked together.

``There was hardly a need to hide statistics, because they were very favorable,`` he said. ``Our murder rate in 1989 was 1 per 100,000 population. In West Germany, it was 5 (per 100,000) and in West Berlin 10 (per 100,000).`` Aside from money in banks, the east offers two other tempting targets for thieves: art works and antiques.

You think they want the wall back?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 19:49 utc | 120

add to 120

From 2006

Is Eastern Germany safe for foreigners

A former government spokesman on Wednesday suggested that dark-skinned visitors to Germany should consider avoiding the eastern part of the country where racism runs high. "There are small and medium-sized towns in Brandenburg, as well as elsewhere, which I would advise a visitor of another skin colour to avoid going to," said Uwe-Karsten Heye, who now leads an anti-racism organization called "Show Your Color." "It is possible he wouldn't get out alive."

The comments came as part of an interview with the public radio station Deutschlandradio Kultur about how right-wing extremism and racism can be combated in Germany. Heye also said there was an increasing tendency in the country to look the other way when it comes to right-wing violence. His comments about "no-go" areas in Germany came as a response to a question about whether tourists from Togo or the Ivory Coast should feel comfortable travelling anywhere in Germany.

It is a case of people being afraid of each other I would say.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 19:59 utc | 121

somebody 120

Apparently AfD voters should have no say in German politics. Only the CFU pro-immigrant voters, which you curiously have no issue with and their world view (perhaps because you have the same worldview), still the facts about crime, poverty, lack of households are facts, yes even admitted by the government.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 26 2017 20:07 utc | 122


Where do you live? Germany is a pretty safe country compared to most places.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26 2017 20:46 utc | 123

@somebody (123)
Thanks for this feedback to reality. Anon in this thread just repeats the mantra of the AdD and their supporters in the social media. Ok, they can get votes only then and only there where they can manage it to create a hysterical uprising mood far apart from the daily realities. 2 years of careful studying their performances in the social media, a doubtful pleasure, confirm this. The facts are indisputable - the shown maps make that clear. Germany has the paradox situation now that ca. 2/3 of the AfD voters used this party for a protest votum against a non-understood but real decay of their life and again their own interests: the program of the AfD and their leading figures are the most hard-boilt neoliberals in the country.

Posted by: Willi Aufdiedauer | Sep 27 2017 6:22 utc | 124

You have to be mobile to be able to profit from Germany's booming economy.

If you don't want to leave the 50 miles you are born in life gets difficult. You have to dream of German women populating the village :-))

There is a dire need for a regional concept in Germany. It gets more and more precarious to live outside of cities for lack of infrastructure - health, transport you name it.

Globalisation is a reality but people are rarely global without being forced to.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27 2017 8:33 utc | 125


I bet you believe Germany have no problems regarding crimes related to refugees etc, however AfD voters is of another position and they will grow from now on, the only thing that would stop them is a change in merkel gov. attitude to open borders policy.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 27 2017 9:21 utc | 126


Look, I have been living in Frankfurt for quite a while and I don't take a taxi but walk at night. The main problem are - mostly German - people who take crack and urgently need the next dosis. But they are concentrated in a few streets and aren't energetic enough to walk around a lot.

Social scientists have estimated a potential for right wing authoritarian "völkische" parties in Germany for up to 30 percent since the 1960's - depending on circumstance like CDU/CSU being able to integrate this worldview - or not, see Merkel.

You can bet that all parties are looking at the numbers and adapt their strategies accordingly. So in all likelihood SPD will be led by a left winger in the future and CDU/CSU by right wingers. Parties "sell" their policies and use the same companies that make you buy products. If you are very lucky the policy you get is what you bought. But keep in mind that you are not the highest bidder.

Some people in AfD have decided in the meantime that Nazi provocateurs aren't a sufficient business model - and as I understand they were the ones who got the great results in Saxony.

If you think Nazis can get anywhere in a country that completely depends on exports - that is your problem.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27 2017 9:57 utc | 127


If anything, elections like this show that people dont care when people smear them and call them and their electorate nazis. People have yelled "nazis" at these people for years, everytime they seems to grow stronger.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 27 2017 10:38 utc | 128

Sure, Nazis don't care.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27 2017 11:35 utc | 129

@Anon (128)
Yes, the results confirm this estimation to about 20%. Where I live (AfD 11,2%) there is a strong dislike against the hysterical xenophobia AfD and followers are try to create in a ping-pong play with the MSM who just exploit click-baits and attention gaining. This dislike is enhanced when people look at figures like Poggenburg, Höcke,who are Nazis, and Gauland, who enhances them with an eye glimpse. A figure like Alice Weidel, an outed lesbian, they do not take serious. As her present status depends on what the so called 68-people have gained.

Posted by: Fritz F. | Sep 27 2017 11:39 utc | 130

add - in German - Saxony's Marketing Problem - Not all people in Saxony are stupid

Short summary - Pegida already damaged Saxony's image - that effect was shown for tourism but more so for universities - "We have to inform people thoroughly on the situation in Saxony - the same way we did it with the flood catastrophe" :-))

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27 2017 12:03 utc | 131

Fritz F

You may think so, but the AfD crowd have the same view on people like you, that dont take Merkel and other establishemtn politicians seriously.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 27 2017 12:05 utc | 132


Sure, AfD crowd are locked into their wordview. It is just illogical and not factual - ie stupid. And the majority don't share it and want to have another life style travelling the world.

In real life Germany competes for an elite workforce and investment from all over the world. Being afraid to get attacked in Germany's countryside (or cities) does not help. Sure, most AfD people don't do this. But they create the atmosphere for unstable people to do just that.

You might like it or not, the only economic chance for Germany is the global economy. Of course, you can go back to self sufficiency with a medieval life style.

The national liberal and global academics in AfD know that, that is why they - unsuccessfuly - tried to stop the Nazi provocations.

Their programme is about accepting exclusively "economically desirable" immigrants (forgetting low paid service jobs). For that they want to shrink the EU, leave the Euro (forgetting markets), control borders and make social security job based.

What goes around comes around - the step to economically desirable Germans is small.

One thing is sure - AfD voters will get nothing and less out of this.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27 2017 12:39 utc | 133


Sure you may believe so but AfD voters think the same about your worldview and more people will vote for them since Merkel wont change her
policies, she doesnt listen to the people since most people, as polls have shown, germans simply do not want more refugees. Of course they wont vote for her, millions have already left her, millions will do that next election too. Nothing will stop that, just accept the reality.
And as more refugges will pour in > more crimes and issues related to immigrants/Merkel will soar > more support for AfD. Its quite simply.
No comments on internet will stop that.

Speaking on "stupid" and "not factual" worldview as you claim.
The fact that people in a country want "economically desirable" immigrants is totally rational, accepting people that have no housings, are often involved in crimes , cant get jobs etc is something not a rational voter would support. Globalization wasnt mean to accept millions of people like those now coming in. Why immigrants would want underpaid service jobs as you seems to believe is just another perverted idea, causing more division in societies. That is also killing the low-class altogether.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 27 2017 12:58 utc | 134

With no social security in your country you are glad to take any job, whereever, no? To force Germans to take any job, whereever, you have to lower German social security, yes?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27 2017 13:09 utc | 135

Anon, (134)

Before I leave you alone in your closed mental cabinet: when I want to meet Syrian refugees I go to the supermarket where I see them constantly. Crimes? What are you talking about the personnel in the market woud ask you. The real scandal is that the real existing problems of Germany have not been discussed at all in the election campaign. The refugees in the media and this whole AfD thing is for diverting the attention of people and it succeeded, a pity. - I have relatives in Dresden. They feel ashamed of Pegida and AfD in Saxony. Muslims I know well. Decades of professional work with people from those countries in Germany, decades of experience down there. I have to state: such nonsense about Muslims and Islam as with AfD you can find only with the „New Right“ in the USA. I-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e! @Somebody: your pro-globalism attitude I do not buy. Look what these globalization enhancers do in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine etc.

Posted by: Fritz F. | Sep 27 2017 13:11 utc | 136


Well I ask you, you are the one claiming and support that refugees should take low-paid jobs. If a jobless german dont want these jobs, why would a refugee - which in turn risk of getting stuck in the low-paid area forever? You clearly make a difference between refugees vs native germans here - thats not pretty. The former should do the work for germans that germans themselves dont want to do. Sort of like a slave workforce.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 27 2017 13:30 utc | 137


All I am saying is that people on social security voting for AfD will see their social security shrink.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27 2017 13:41 utc | 138


Thats what AFD have realized, Merkel gov. have spent many billions on refugees, billions of taxpayers money that could have been budgeted for a raise welfare and social security.

Germany 'spent more than €20bn on refugees in 2016' as crisis outstrips state budgets

Posted by: Anon | Sep 27 2017 13:56 utc | 139


Lets face it: Germany's economy is thoroughly globalised if you work on a building site, in a cleaning, logistics business, in health care, in schools or as an engineer in a car factory. Or if you live in a housing estate.
People have to cope with it - there is no escape. There is simply no solution for how people feel about it (we want to preserve our habits and customs). Pretending there is a nationalist way out is fraud.
The refugee 'crisis' will be over once Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan are stabilized. Immigration will not stop.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27 2017 13:56 utc | 140

Sure. Welfare for work below the minimum wage.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27 2017 14:32 utc | 141


Its quite easy, instead of funneling useless taxmoney into a irrational refugee acceptance, AfD voter want to make use of their already small salary.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 27 2017 15:47 utc | 142

@Anon (142)

And are angry on people („Gutmenschen“) who welcome refugees but on the expense of other people, who get less and less shares of the profits of globalization.
But unfortunately they are so stupid not to realize that the leaders of AfD and the programm of this party would cost them much more money than any manifold of much more refugees. Angry and stupid is a dangerous mixture. And even more dangerous if they are in addition timid and attack refugees instead of biting those who really are responsible for their fragile existence. These are Germans, not refugees.

Posted by: Fritz F. | Sep 27 2017 18:34 utc | 143


Sure. When the refugees came people suddenly paid more taxes. What did I miss? Schäuble saving money from Greek debt interest rates maybe?

It reminds me of Brexit when people were told National Health would have more money then. After the vote, suddenly, nobody pretended any more that would be the case.

AfD wants to privatise unemployment benefits by the way. It feels like more money in your pocket, but no longer when you lose your job. All the while employers have saved a lot of money. It is magic I am sure. Oh, I forgot, it is people being free and responsible for themselves.

You understand why some people think AfD voters are stupid?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 27 2017 20:19 utc | 144

"Turkey hasnt blackmailed anyone"

Completely untrue. Turkey most certainly blackmailed Europe with an influx of refugees. You either have a short, or selective memory.
And either the acceptance of refugees was a mistake or it was not. You cant fudge it to suit your argument.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Sep 28 2017 2:49 utc | 145

Anon (142)

Let the Germans forget about focussing this refugee problem. It is only a scapegoat debate, executed with fake news and fake "Gutmenschen“, who play the idle humanist people with the money of other people. Any right-wing "revolt“ is by construction only self-mutilation. This AfD is finished in the moment people learn the program of this party. Whatever dumb Germans may be they will not repeat the same mistake within one century.

Posted by: Willi Aufdiedauer | Sep 28 2017 3:37 utc | 146


AfD wants to reduce tax by percentage and balance that by cutting social spending. Who profits from that is clear - people who pay a lot of tax.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 28 2017 4:57 utc | 147

add to 146
Researching this is fascinating. It seems that poor people don't vote and therefore aren't represented.

AfD managed to get some of them to vote by exploiting their resentment of refugees. Despite their party programme that gives nothing - and less - for them - but promises to get rid of refugees.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 28 2017 5:24 utc | 148

That means a majority of AfD voter behave like classic authoritarian right-wing Germans: they kiss the feet of the mighty and try to find some weaker people to find them. Being dumb they do not realize that the leaders of the AfD would bring even more harm to them. The only good thing for them is the fact that this AfD will be an ephemeral thing without much direct influence.

Posted by: Fritz F. | Sep 28 2017 6:53 utc | 149

My own experience with racists and racism supports what somebody and Willi say.
When I lived in Australia it was in the North where indigenous Australians made up approx 50% of the population, I don't think I ever met a real stone racist the entire two decades I was based there. I met a lot of rightist asshole who had lapped up the bulldust about the inefficiency of state monopolies, a few - very few 'wog haters' that is white australians with a bee in their bonnet about 'new australians from western, eastern and southern europe, lots of homophobes but because everyone played footy, worked with, went to school with and lived next to indigenous Australians I never heard anyone talking about coons or niggers etc. The wog haters were a tiny minority as well because of the non-indigenous people who lived in the Northern Territory, only 2 outta 5 had been born there, so most people were as familiar with people from Greece, Fraance, Italy, Finland Croatia, Slovenia, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine & Russia as they were with indigenous Australians. Of course everyone hated the poms (englanders) but that was more a joke than anything.
Down in South Oz once a generation of new Australians had settled few if any whined about wogs any more. Plenty still bitched about 'coons' not that they had ever seen any other than the detritus of a conquered people, a tiny minority of a metropolis who found relief from their despair in alcohol and I seriously doubt even 5% of southern whitefellas had ever had any interaction with indigenous Australians.

I find the same thing in Aotearoa. When I was a youngfella who travelled down to the South Island I would often hear some doofus wittering on about 'coconuts' (migrants from Pacific Island nations or 'maoris' (Tangata Whenua - the indigenous people of Aotearoa) but none of them knew any Pacific people since few had shifted south and hardly any knew any Tangata Whenua because they claimed they had all killed each other off in the South Island before pakeha (brit migrants & offspring) arrived. A claim often heard from colonisers the indigenous people of what is now Mexico are also claimed to have killed each other off right before whitefella invasion but the numbers in Aotearoa were industrial it is impossible to conceive how so may could be butchered by stone axe and wooden club. A more rational, credible cause is Pakeha disease and musket.

Anyway the point is that it was only in those areas where polynesian people were practically unknown that their was a large scale fear of them and as per usual, that fear led to hatred.

Since I have been back in Aotearoa the anti-Tangata Whenua opinions and most of the anti-Pacifica bulldust is long gone. However 'down South' where more recent migrants from China and India are thin on the ground the ignorati now whine on about that.

The thing I know most about immigration is that not only is fear and loathing much more prevalent among populations that have bugger all contact with a migrant group, even among them that horror passes within the space of a generation or so.
Look at the US where in the 19th century many people hated germans and Irish, they became assimilated so next it was Italians who were the cause for concern among the ignorati, then jews, then 'japs', then latinos, and now it is people who prectise islam but that is changing slowly too.

Those in the east of Germany will eventually grow tired of hurling molotov cocktails at refugees and slowly get used to the 'new Germans'.
As for the crime thing there are always problems with a few migrants who don't find their dreams realised and resort to crime. Any study of amerikan history will reveal outrageous claims about the alleged criminality of all those groups of people I listed, that stem from the time of their first arrival. It will also reveal a 'lock up yer daughters the germans/Italians/Japs are coming' syndrome. Sexual jealousy frustration is an integral part of that ugly scaredy-cat fear of the 'foreign other'.

In communities where unemployment is high it makes sense to cap immigration for a time, but that should be the reason for it, not that "they have a different religion" or whatever.

Germany doesn't have high unemployment and that is why Merkel invited so many in.

I strongly suspect the way she did it was part of a deliberate effort to piss red necks off and make it easier to divide and rule ( the fact the SPD has copped a major hit too indicates this) but that is Merkel's fault not the fault of the migrants driven outta their homes because their nation is a target of the amerikan empire.

The path of the Afd will conform to that of just about every other gang of racist arseholes. This election will be the high tide mark and once most people get used to & start to know one or two islamic people, the AfD vote will drop back only flaring up during times of economic uncertainty. They will fall to about 6% - about the same size as the % of population who suffer from borderline personality disorder and there they will remain until the next big scare is sold to the drongos which every band of humans has had to suffer since we first spoke to each other. That bandwagon will be jumped upon and german islamaphobia will become a bad dream the memory of which is fading fast.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 28 2017 7:11 utc | 150

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 28, 2017 3:11:42 AM | 149

You made my day.

The truth is that you don't need races or nations for this but simply a different look, accent or the preparedness to work for lower wages.
East Germans were not well received in places like Cologne when they looked for work there after the wall fell.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 28 2017 10:39 utc | 151


Unemployed, jobless refugees who live
in refugee centers does of course not pay
taxes, they are an economic burden on the welfare

As far as Brexit is concerned, that deal isnt
done itself so how could you even make a comment like that?
Makes no sense.

You could keep calling them "stupid"
and "nazis" but its not them that
have funneled 100s of billions on a failed
refugee policy.
Thats the classic liberal idiocy, spend
alot of taxpayers money. Great job!

Posted by: Anon | Sep 28 2017 13:44 utc | 152


You can think that, but they will only grow,
meanwhile the party and ideology you support
will only diminish, who ends up looking "dumb"?

Posted by: Anon | Sep 28 2017 13:45 utc | 153


The regular people is always "dumb" and "racists" according to neoliberal people like yourself.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 28 2017 13:46 utc | 154

Anon (154)
The regular people have to do with racists and dumb people, depending on the region, up to an extent of ca. 10-25% (in the east). The education systems quality is going down, enhanced by the Internet, but not an extent that these AfD clowns will have a serious long term chance. The moment the regular people check out what they want, what is written in their program, they are about to be finished. This refugee thing is an artificial sensation, never forget this! To keep the "regular people" away from discussing the real issues of the society. These are not "Umvolkung" (impossible to translate this German madhouse element) or refugees.

Posted by: Willi Aufdiedauer | Sep 28 2017 15:14 utc | 155

Willi Aufdiedauer

So much wars going on and will go on (=refugees) AFD will have no problem getting votes.
Please point out whats so awful with their programme and what people have missed?

Posted by: Anon | Sep 28 2017 16:13 utc | 156

Willi & Fritz & somebody... My heart is with you guys and Anon's comments make me cringe... Nevertheless Anon has a point and your dismissive response to Anon only reinforces that point.

There is one segment in German (or Danish or Dutch or French etc.) society that is negatively affected out of all proportion by mass immigration from the middle east. The lower working classes!

Whose jobs are taken by these immigrants? The business owners applaud the migration because it means they have an increased labour pool competing for the minimum wage jobs. The toilet cleaners have more competition for their jobs and so have to be satisfied with lower wages. YES it isn't the immigrants themselves that are planning this. The immigrants are simply being used as the instrument but it is difficult for the German toilet cleaner to parse this and besides if your are being attacked with a hammer it also makes sense to defend yourself by removing the hammer. The immigrants are directly negatively affecting the wages the unskilled germans can extract from the business owners. Solution remove the immigrants.

Whose neighbourhoods do immigrants move to and transform? Not to Charlottenburg or Altona! So the lower working classes neighbourhoods become transformed beyond recognition. Many choose (and chose up through the 1970's) to move out to distant suburbs to escape their childhood neighbourhoods that were transformed into foreign countries. The more internationalist working classes remained and thus where the immigrants actually live become bastions of Linke and the AfD voters are in the areas where there are no immigrants. The same pattern across N. Europe
Mollenbeek was the working class area of Brussels.
Nørrebro was the working class area of Copenhagen.
18arr. was the working class arrondissement of Paris.
Neukolln was the working class area of Berlin.
Rotterdam (pretty much all of it) was the working class city of the Netherlands.
Tower Hamlets was the working class area of London.
ALL transformed

Funny how Altona, 13arr. Chelsea, Charlottenburg, Gentofte, =not many immigrants

Who are the Germans that are most reliant on the welfare state? The ones who work for minimum wage! they have no savings and have to rely on the social safety net if they lose their job. But the immigrants who do place a burden on the safety net (we can discuss why and there are valid reasons for the immigrants being a greater burden) have thus weakened that safety net that the lower working class german was relying on to support them. NOTE there is NEVER a suggestion that taxes on the richest segments of society should be raised to cover this increased social safety net cost. Instead the quality of the safety net is simply reduced to meet the budget.

Of course the AfD is a con job! Their economic program puts them firmly in line with the CDU and FDP and on that basis any lower working class person would be stupid to vote for them. But on the other hand the AfD is the ONLY party that will even discuss the ways in which mass immigration has affected the lives of lower working class Germans. While well off Germans who live in Frankfurt sneer about those 'Nazis'...

The vote for CDU and FDP combined has been pretty consistent over the last 4 elections. The AfD did not take votes from CDU they took them from SDP.

Posted by: Køn | Sep 28 2017 16:49 utc | 157

Funny how Altona, 13arr. Chelsea, Charlottenburg, Gentofte, =not many immigrants

correction: 16arr. or 4th or whatever... you get the idea.

Posted by: Køn | Sep 28 2017 16:53 utc | 158

Kon (158) - yes, you smell it right. Therefore the expression "fake Gutmenschen“ was used as far as I guess. Believe me that in general and especially in Easst Germany there is not at all any unusual actual problem with those refugees. The real cheating is done by the AfD and the MSM by putting the attention of the lower strata to this exaggerated refugue issue instead of pointing to the real big issues of this country. But hey, this method of "Haltet den Dieb!“ is nothing new and works only with timid and dumb people.

Posted by: Fritz F. | Sep 28 2017 17:37 utc | 159

I don't think you are actually facing upto what I am actually saying?

In any society, where does the 'dumb' timid person end up working, the ones you again sneer at and call dumb. They end up cleaning toilets for minimum wage. A german with little education, who is not very bright they have very little organizational skills they will not be able to set up their own party. But they will vote for a party that talks to them directly and does not sneer at them. A party that recognizes that in fact their life HAS been negatively impacted by mass immigration of low skilled people primarily from the middle east. But yes they are dumb, thats why they have ended up cleaning toilets, and they will not examine the AfD in depth. So they will never notice what economic policy the AfD actually has. And the AfD will keep growing in popularity as economic inequality keeps increasing as it has in Germany since at least harz4... as more and more Germans become working poor. The AfD will keep growing as the CDU/FDP ruling elite will insist on importing ever more poorly educated immigrants that can make sure that businesses can always get their toilets cleaned for minimum wage or even less.

As I see it there are two options.
1-- Make sure that any economic and social burden that immigration imposes on society is exclusively paid by the richest in society... (Do you really think that is gonna happen, how would you achieve this-electorally)
2-- Stop importing unskilled labor and as afar as possible and in the most humane way possible encourage the immigrants to return to their own countries.

Posted by: Køn | Sep 28 2017 18:24 utc | 160

As I see it there are two options.
1-- Make sure that any economic and social burden that immigration imposes on society is exclusively paid by the richest in society... (Do you really think that is gonna happen, how would you achieve this-electorally)
2-- Stop importing unskilled labor and as afar as possible and in the most humane way possible encourage the immigrants to return to their own countries.

Posted by: Køn | Sep 28, 2017 2:24:35 PM | 160

1. The people you commiserate with don't pay taxes. They are too low paid or on welfare. They resent the idea that other people might get welfare, too. Someone lied to them that they would be better off without refugees. To confirm them in this mistaken belief would be cruel, don't you think?

2. Welfare in Germany is calculated not on how much money the state has from raising taxes and loans (at lot in the case of Germany) but on the very slim line of the constitution's demand for life in dignity for all people and the differential to there still being an incentive to work in low paid jobs. For a family with a few kids rents are too high - rents have to be paid by welfare - to be there any incentive left to work.

AfD's economically liberal programme sounds like they would wish to change the dignity part into forcing everybody to work for welfare for less than the minimum wage. This already happens at present with the minimum wage, as it is not enough to pay for the rent with kids. People get welfare in addition to their job income.

Refugees have no effect whatsoever on how much welfare is paid per person.

2. Refugees have no impact on the level of immigration - the availability of jobs has. Most immigration to Germany is from South-Eastern EU countries, should refugees take the jobs you can do with low qualifications and little knowledge of the language there will be less immigration from these countries into low paid jobs.There is no right for welfare for EU citizens before they have not worked in Germany for five years - and paid taxes and unemployment benefits in this process. Who does not find work has to go or sleep in the streets (some of them do).

Because of the availability of EU citizens desperately looking for work (there is hardly any welfare in Eastern Europe) low paid jobs will remain low paid jobs - with refugees or not.

The pretense that refugees are the cause of people's problems is fraud. Is there a tactful way to tell people they were cheated without them feeling stupid? I agree that people from Bavaria, Frankfurt, Berlin or Hamburg should stop laughing at people from Saxony. But we did it to Frisians, too, and there were no hard feelings (I hope).

3. If you now think the solution is to shrink the EU, you can be sure that Germany's industry will fight tooth and nail to keep free markets. And Germany's industry are the ones who have the jobs and desperately want to fill them with the best they can get. If you want to know what the CEO of Siemes thinks here it is.

First: The rapid increase in populism that is fostering stronger nationalism and protectionism. This hinders free trade and international cooperation. And international cooperation and integration are just what we must have to master the major challenges that lie ahead of us.

Second: Global migration. For a long time, it was thought that globalization was a one-way street – a one-way street in which Germany as an export nation was always in the passing lane. In the meantime, however, we know that this street can actually be traveled in both directions and is heavily trafficked. Today, over 60 million people are refugees worldwide
– more than ever before. And many countries and societies
are not yet prepared to cope with this enormous task.

Immigration certainly has no economic burden (ever heard of investment and Keynes? Even if these people don't pay taxes, most of their kids will, and Germany does have a very real demographic problem. Schäuble's fetish is a "black zero", ie no overspending, and you can be sure, he has got just that. Taxes were not raised because of refugees and the standard of living did not decline. The very real problem is affordable housing where the jobs are (but AfD's votership is not where the jobs are, they refuse to move and they have my full sympathy in this), building sufficient housing will cause another economic boom (Germany will need a workforce for)

The typical AfD votership is between 30 and 59. If they want German kids to pay their pensions (that is the German system, pensions are taken from the payments of the economically active generation), they had better get kids fast - lots of kids. As the AfD votership is predominately male I don't see this happen, German women get on average 1.5 kids.

Stopping immigration could be done with a shrinking industry and very poor old age pensioners but I suppose even AfD voters would prefer immigration if someone explained to them their options.

I don't know what you call "social costs". A part of Germans getting hysterical? People enervated by the Babel on the streets? I agree with Debsisdead, Germans will get used to it.

AfD is full of liberal academics and consultants. They know all this. They are using "populism" and "nationalism" to get rid of the concept that all human beings have a value beyond their ability to work.

Fraudsters have to be shown fraudsters. An economy works by people exchanging goods, not by borders.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 28 2017 21:42 utc | 161

10.7% voted for AfD in fmr.W Germany. AfD is not an exclusively East G. or Saxonian phenomenon. There are slightly different dynamics to the east and west AfD vote. My arguments are mainly related to the western dynamic.

1. The people you commiserate with don't pay taxes. They are too low paid or on welfare. They resent the idea that other people might get welfare, too. Someone lied to them that they would be better off without refugees. To confirm them in this mistaken belief would be cruel, don't you think?

Of course they don't pay taxes they are the working poor. But they can vote. And they are smart enough to understand that neo-liberal Germany has not raised taxes on the rich in over 25 years (40?). So they understand that if more people arrive in Germany and take more money out of the welfare budget the neoliberal government whether CDU or SPD will not raise taxes on the rich to cover that increased welfare expense. Instead the social benefits will be cut until the budget is balanced.

It is condescending to dismiss their animus as purely something they have been lied to about. I simply don't believe they are mistaken and I don't think you have proved conclusively that they are mistaken in the belief that mass immigration of poorly educated populations from third world countries has a negative impact upon their lives.


The pretense that refugees are the cause of people's problems is fraud. Is there a tactful way to tell people they were cheated without them feeling stupid? I agree that people from Bavaria, Frankfurt, Berlin or Hamburg should stop laughing at people from Saxony. But we did it to Frisians, too, and there were no hard feelings (I hope).

Again I don't agree that it is a 'complete' fraud. I agree that the populist right wing and frankly nazi elements of the AfD spin ridiculous stories and the 'threat' of terrorism is vastly overplayed for political effect by the police and intelligence agencies to bolster their budgets and destroy civil-liberties. BUT actually there is an element of truth to migrants (Refugees, easternEU migrants or Gæstarbeiter) causing very real problems for the poorer elements of german society.
And you hope in vain. It is exactly that condescending attitude that many of those AfD voters feel hurt by. Imagine you are the one that is well off in a white collar job in a Frankfurt bank (I imagine) and you are mocking these poor people that have nothing and clean your toilets for minimum wage. And you mock them and call them dumb and nazi and effectively tell them that you would rather help someone from Syria than help them a fellow German... That is how they see it.
But I agree we should all make fun of Frisians... and Swedes...


I don't want to shrink the EU, many AfD voters do. And yes the main opponents to that will be the business owners who love the cheap eastern european labour and love the cheap refugee labour and loved the cheap gæstarbeiter labor in the 70'80s. What is not to love about it for them... they get more profit!! and they can be sure that none of that imported labour will be moving into their neighbourhood. Though if they want to have an interesting (and cheap) ethnic meal then there are now areas of their city they can go to for that-Just so long as its not in their area of the city. Double plus win for the bosses!!!

In summer 2015 when the great migrant wave came, the Danish government adopted a policy of closing the borders because the government is a minority government that rules with the support of DF which is the Danish AfD in essence. The group that was most outraged by the closed borders was the Danish Employers Union. They wanted a piece of that lovely cheap refugee labour force. Instead most of the refugees were whisked across to Sweden.

Posted by: Køn | Sep 28 2017 23:37 utc | 162

So they understand that if more people arrive in Germany and take more money out of the welfare budget the neoliberal government whether CDU or SPD will not raise taxes on the rich to cover that increased welfare expense. Instead the social benefits will be cut until the budget is balanced.

This, exactly, is the fraud. There is no "welfare budget". And it does not get "balanced".

German is booming now, and refugees are part of the reason. It works like Keynesian state spending. There are less and less unemployed (the lowest number since the fall of the wall) ie more and more people paying social insurance and tax. Guess what - state income is on the rise and the number of people on welfare is going down.

So in theory - welfare and pensions could rise. Pensions are pegged to the amount people earn so they do rise, but welfare is - badly - adjusted to the rise in prices. And guess what - AfDs programme is fine with that, they propose a privatisation of unemployment insurance plus welfare in exchange for work below the minimum wage.

The group that was most outraged by the closed borders was the Danish Employers Union. They wanted a piece of that lovely cheap refugee labour force. Instead most of the refugees were whisked across to Sweden.

Look, you can't compare a country with 6 million people with oil and gas resources to a country of 83 million who have to produce exports and buy oil and gas.
But even so, it is not just the Danish Employers Union who think Denmark loses.
This here seems to be the Danish Ministry of Finance.

According to the calculations, unskilled refugees have great potential to contribute to the state finances – as long as they become part of the work force.

Even the lowest paid full-time jobs make a difference. An annual salary of DKK 200,000, which is below the minimum wage when working 40 hours a week, is the breaking-point at which the worker is a net contributor to the budget.

Foreigners from advanced economies tend to get jobs fast and generate tax money from the start. The greater challenge is to lower the unemployment rate among migrants fleeing conflict areas.

"Roughly speaking, immigration from western countries helps government finances while immigration from non-westerners imposes costs," says Finance Minister Kristian Jensen to Bloomberg.

“But it’s not a question of preferring one group or another. What we should strive for is getting all immigrants a job”, he continues.

Danish women have a birth rate of 1.7. That is better than Germany but not enough - by far.

This here seems to be a Danish advertising campaign

“The Danish welfare system is under pressure. There are still not enough babies being born, despite a little progress. And this concerns us all. But those who suffer the most are perhaps the mothers who will never experience having a grandchild,” the advert stated, showing an older Danish woman imagining her future grandchild.

:-)) Let me tell you - the work life balance of Western women includes kids with the emphasis on balance.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 29 2017 4:42 utc | 163

Køn 157

What is with my comments that are grounded with multiple sources that make you "cringe"?

Posted by: Anon | Sep 29 2017 12:02 utc | 164

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