Tuesday

21st Nov 2017

Anti-euro party enters Hamburg state parliament

  • Hamburg's city hall houses the city state's parliament, which will now include AfD representatives (Photo: Orhan Ünlü)

Anti-euro party Alternative fuer Deutschland on Sunday for the first time entered a state parliament in the western part of Germany, continuing its push into the political mainstream.

With 6.1 percent of the votes in elections for the state parliament of Hamburg, the two-year-old party secured an important symbolic victory, as well as representation in the second largest city of the country.

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Hans-Olaf Henkel, member of the European Parliament for Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD), told German tv that the victory showed the AfD could win all over Germany.

Until now, the party's support came mostly from the states that belonged to communist East Germany until 1990.

"When AfD can enter parliament in a liberal and cosmopolitan city [like Hamburg], then it can also do so in other states", said Henkel. In May, the northwestern state Bremen will have elections.

AfD is against Germany's membership of the eurozone, but wants the largest member of the European Union to remain a member of the bloc.

It entered the European parliament in May last year, gaining seven seats, amid a general swell in the ranks of populist parties on the right and left across the EU.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right CDU party did poorly in the Hamburg elections, receiving just 15.9 percent, a historic low according to German media.

Centre-left SPD (45.7%) remained the largest party in the Hamburg elections, although it lost its absolute majority. It is expected to start coalition talks with the Green party.

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