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Germany: growth of the far right, faltering economy

Germany: growth of the far right, faltering economy

A demonstration against the right-wing parliamentary party Alternative for Germany (AFD) and its xenophobic stance in Hannover on January 20, 2024. (MTI/AP/DPA/Moritz Frankenberg)

Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated across the country in Germany over the weekend against right-wing extremism, while it wasn't long before farmers occupied the streets of cities: they took to the streets over the withdrawal of two tax benefits. According to polls, dissatisfaction with the government is also shared by other social groups: Chancellor Olaf Scholz's popularity is lower than that of any of his predecessors since 1997, and the popularity of the three ruling parties combined barely exceeds 30 percent. On the other hand, the AfD can count on more and more support.

The German economy entered recession in 2023, GDP fell by 0.3 percent compared to the previous year, and the prospects for 2024 are also uncertain: economic analysts are not optimistic. In addition, the federal government was forced to make cuts after the German Constitutional Court rejected the government's planned budget transfers last November. The federal government then withdrew two previous tax breaks from farmers. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) announced to protesting farmers in Berlin that “there is no more money.” It is true that this comment did indicate a compromise: the government partially backed down from its proposal, and would eventually retain the car tax exemption for agricultural vehicles, but only reduce diesel subsidies, and that too over a period of time. Years. Extremist and far-right organizations and their members “joined” the host demonstrations, even though organizers specifically advised against them. Many opposition parties expressed their approval, but the AfD was perhaps the most representative, and the party organization in Thuringia even mobilized for a general strike, which did not materialize.

• What was the secret meeting that took place in Potsdam?
• How is the research going, and what are the chances of the AfD?
• What could be a disadvantage for them?

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