German CEOs, in Rare Comments on Politics, Warn on Rise of Nationalism

Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday expressed concern about the entry of the anti-Muslim Alternative for Germany to the German Parliament, even though the party won only 12.6 per cent of the votes in Sunday's election.

It wants Germany's liberal political asylum rules reframed to serve the national interest, a referendum on leaving the euro and returning to the Deutsche mark and economic sanctions on Russian Federation lifted.

Many Germans see the rise of the AfD as a similar rejection of the status quo as votes for Brexit and Donald Trump a year ago.

The right-wing Alternative for Germany, or AfD, emerged as the big victor in Germany's general election.

Petry, who served as co-leader of the AfD, had come into conflict with other senior figures in the party in the last few months, saying she understood why some voters were alarmed at some of their radical rhetoric. The former Goldman Sachs banker was quoted as comparing Merkel's government to "pigs" for allowing almost 1 million migrants and refugees ― many of them fleeing war-torn nations in the Middle East ― into the country.

Ms Merkel's biggest challenge is to convince two parties into allying with her - the FDP and the Green party - who not only intensely dislike one another but are both cautious of losing credibility with their voters, Guardian said.

But they have already ruled out another coalition with Merkel.

This combination could lead to prolonged horse-trading, as the Greens and FDP disagree on key policy issues. He insists his party will not enter another coalition with the conservatives. The Greens said they were "deeply troubled" by the AfD being in parliament. The outcome of Sunday's vote will lead to severe tough talks.

Despite the major loss, pollsters Forschungsgruppe Wahlen said the CDU-CSU alliance owed their victory to the chancellor, who according to a pre-election survey is Germany's most popular politician. Assuming this holds, it would make the SPD the official opposition party, edging out the AfD in that role. It is all the more astounding as the AfD was only formed four years ago. The AfD capitalized on anti-immigrant sentiment in Germany in the wake of Europe's unprecedented refugee crisis.

The results of the German federal election this weekend were at once unsurprising and worrisome.

  • Salvatore Jensen