Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she cannot “understand” how people could vote for the country’s populist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party.
The ex-leader’s statement comes amid the release of polling which shows that more than seven in 10 Germans believe younger generations are going to live worse lives than their parents due to the dire state of their country.
According to a report by Die Zeit, Merkel said that she realised many Germans feel angry amid the current spate of crises hitting the nation.
She put her foot down at the idea of voting for the AfD, telling the interviewer that such a method of retaliation against Germany’s legacy parties was unacceptable.
“If you make a name for yourself, so to speak, at the expense of other people, including people who look different and people with a different biography, then that’s not something I understand,” Merkel said.
She went on to instruct Germans to express their “criticism and anger in other ways”.
A one-time key supporter of Angela Merkel has alleged that Germany is now a “dictatorship” and that Merkel “pulled the plug” on the country. https://t.co/z942F0cZIz
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 7, 2023
Her comments were not welcomed by those within the AfD, with Dr Gunnar Beck MEP accusing Merkel of being out of touch with the electorate and the impact of her own policies.
“Mrs Merkel’s utterances display a remarkable discrepancy between her operational abilities as a party politician and tactician and the almost complete absence of appreciation for the historical, sociological and economic realities of life,” he said.
“She also shows remarkable lack of understanding of the social and economic consequences of her own actions, namely that a large medium-sized economy like Germany cannot shoulder the burdens of solving the migration, euro and climate crises all at the same time.”
Beck took particular aim at Merkel’s proclivity for open borders, describing it as “remarkable” that “it never occurred to her that Germany’s demographic problem cannot simply be solved by replacing 20 million Württembergers who have never been born with 30 million near-illiterate Africans”.
“Mrs Merkel never regarded herself as Chancellor of Germany, but merely as the governor of the province of Germany in the service of some amorphous European or world government.”
Whether the former Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader likes it or not, it appears that a growing number of Germans are now leaning more towards the views of the AfD in the wake of her leadership.
The party now regularly polls as the second-most popular in a Germany, falling only slightly behind the CDU.
A general uptick in pessimism within the country appears to be at the core of the political shift, with the variety of energy and economic crises facing Germany having an impact on the outlook of its citizens.
According to data gathered by the country’s Forsa polling company, 71 per cent of the population believe that young people will live worse lives than their parents.
One in four respondents said that they would prefer to live in another country.
A statue of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel on horseback has collapsed under its own weight. https://t.co/6Ndp9mfSsr
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) September 15, 2023