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Leader of Germany's Right-Wing Populists Suggests 'Dexit' Vote.

The co-leader of the German right-wing populist party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), Alice Weidel, has suggested she will campaign for a Brexit-style departure from the European Union if her party is elected to government in the coming years.


 


In an interview with The Financial Times, Weidel explained that the United Kingdom's decision to leave the EU in 2016 was "dead right," adding, "It's a model for Germany, that once can make a sovereign decision like that."


 


Weidel suggested the first option for her party would be to push for several reforms to the union, such as reducing the powers of the European Commission and removing its "democratic deficit." "But if a reform isn't possible, if we fail to rebuild the sovereignty of the EU member states, we should let the people decide, just as Britain did," she continued. "And we could have a referendum on 'Dexit' – a German exit from the EU."


 


Weidel's party claims it is opposed to the idea of transforming all EU member states across the continent into a "centralised federal state." The party's manifesto asserts, "We are in favour of returning the European Union to an economic union based on shared interests, and consisting of sovereign, but loosely connected nation-states."


 


The populist party has similarly stated elsewhere, "It is the self-evident right of every people in the European Union to vote on remaining in the EU, monetary union and other supranational projects."


 


Weidel’s comments were met with fierce backlash from a number of German politicians, including the Parliamentary State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Franziska Brantner, who said that a German withdrawal from the EU would endanger the “foundations of our prosperity.”


 


The likelihood of the German public voting en masse to leave the EU is low, however. Polling conducted by the Financial Times between June and September last year found that just ten per cent of Germans would vote against "Germany's continued EU membership." Even a majority of AfD voters – 55 per cent – indicated they would prefer to remain in the EU.


 


Weidel's party is currently polling second nationally with 23 per cent support, far above incumbent German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats (SPD), currently polling at just 15 per cent. The AfD is nine points behind Angela Merkel's former party, the Christian Democrats.


 


The AfD co-leader's remarks follow several weeks of protests and demonstrations against the rise of the populist party, with some 80,000 people marching in Hamburg alone. Scholz participated in a similar protest in the city of Potsdam over the weekend, with the German Chancellor arguing his attendance was necessary as the ideology of the Nazi Party “must never again be present in Germany.”


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Tags: #EU #EuropeanUnion #Germany #Brexit #AfD #AlternativeforGermany #AliceWeidel



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