German election result puts Europe in a deeper mess, by The Australian.
The first result is that the grand federalist plans of France’s Emmanuel Macron seem to have been dealt a heavy blow. Macron, like the odious Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission…, wants to transform the EU explicitly into a superstate.
Macron’s vision is that this superstate will be dominated by the president of France — himself — and the chancellor of Germany. Juncker’s vision is that it will be dominated by the gnomes of Brussels.
Both men want to take sovereign power away from the nations of Europe and pool it in a transnational EU.
Generally, European voters hate this idea. …
The Germans, who naturally dominate the European economy, have nonetheless never been fond of Macron’s plans. They will go along with quite a lot of EU superstate stuff when they can retain the power. But if an EU superstate means someone else gets to dole out their money in bailouts, they lose enthusiasm rapidly.
The German self-conception is of a steady, sober, thrifty, hard-working people who have achieved enormous success while their more fun-loving southern European neighbours are at the beach or having a siesta. There is a deal of truth in this self-conception although it underplays the role the euro plays in Germany’s success. The euro cripples southern Europeans by giving them a permanently and structurally overvalued currency while it massively benefits German exporters by giving them a permanently and structurally undervalued currency. …
One of the weird things in the German results is that nearly a quarter of voters chose parties regarded by the German mainstream as extremists who must be kept out of government at all costs. The far left Die Linke, a rebranded version of the gruesome East German Stalinists of the communist era, also won 10 per cent. Add that to AfD and the German political class suddenly defines itself as banishing to pariah status nearly a quarter of its electorate.
It is reasonable to call AfD far right; it would be wrong to call it fascist or neo-Nazi. Some of its spokesmen have said foolish and offensive things, especially about World War II. They have not, however, attempted to justify any aspect of Nazism.
hat-tip Stephen Neil