Thursday

30th Mar 2017

Focus

Controversial author praises German anti-euro party

  • Thilo Sarrazin stays with the Social-Democratic Party despite all criticism (Photo: Valentina Pop)

Thilo Sarrazin is an unusual politician. A member of the German Social Democrats since 1974, he became a household name in 2010 after publishing his best-selling "Deutschland schafft sich ab" (Germany is doing away with itself) - a controversial book about the impact of Muslim migration on his ageing country.

Sarrazin is no fan of political correctness, he prefers the term "virtue terror."

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"I am not incorrect, politically or of any other sort, I am a very correct person," Sarrazin said Monday (24 February) when launching his latest book: "The new virtue terror."

The book is an attack on political correctness and the idea - strongly defended by his own party - that all people are equal.

Whether it is railing against the euro (he wrote an anti-euro book in 2012) or limiting migration to highly educated people, Sarrazin is closer in his ideology to the newly-founded Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD), a party that almost made it into the Bundestag and is slated to enter the European Parliament after the 25 May elections.

"The economic competence in the AfD is bigger than in the leadership of the SPD, CDU and CSU combined," Sarrazin said at the press conference.

A former member of the Bundesbank board, his views on the economy and the euro are as hawkish as those of the AfD leadership.

Pressed on the question of joining the new party, Sarrazin said he still feels "at home" in the SPD and that he prefers a party which is not a "single-issue party" like the euro-critical AfD.

But the AfD recently has expanded to other issues, notably "welfare tourism" and migration. At a party congress on 22-23 March, AfD members are set to approve the party's programme for the EU elections. It is on this occasion that the party is likely to formally expand its platform from calling for a break-up of the single currency to other topics.

The success of Sarrazin's book, as well as the unexpected result of the AfD less than a year after it was officially launched, reflect a growing frustration among German voters with the establishment and its discourse on the euro-crisis and migration.

Sensitive to societal shifts, Chancellor Merkel has already fine-tuned her rhetoric and allowed more political room to her Bavarian partners, the CSU, who are now campaigning on abolishing "welfare tourism."

German eurosceptics on the rise ahead of EU elections

Anti-euro and anti-immigrant sentiment is shaping the EU election campaign in Germany, with a newcomer party that promises an "alternative" to the single currency set to enter the European Parliament.

EUobserved

When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.

EUobserved

Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

News in Brief

  1. UK publishes 'Great Repeal Bill' plan to replace EU laws
  2. Scots share May's vision for Brexit deal, survey says
  3. Coalition talks leader expects Dutch government by summer
  4. EU commission allows ex-member Hill to join law firm
  5. Reuters: Greece and lenders move closer to deal
  6. Italy: Le Pen win would mean 'permanent political risk'
  7. Danish parliament misinformed on Nord Stream 1
  8. UK delivered its Article 50 letter to the EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  2. The Idealist QuarterlyCan Progressive Stories Survive Our Post-Truth Era? After-Work Discussion on 6 April
  3. ACCAG20 Citizens Want 'Big Picture' Tax Policymaking, According to Global Survey
  4. Belgrade Security ForumCall for Papers: European Union as a Global Crisis Manager - Deadline 30 April
  5. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  6. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  7. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  9. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  10. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  11. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy