Ahead of european elections: union and spd warn against nationalists

Ahead of european elections: union and spd warn against nationalists

In the final spurt for the european elections this sunday, the union and the SPD have issued an urgent warning against the rise of right-wing populists and nationalists.

The union’s top candidate for europe, manfred weber (CSU), said at the end of his election campaign in munich on saturday: "unfortunately, god, the poll numbers don’t predict anything good for us tomorrow at the moment."SPD leader andrea nahles demands in darmstadt: "we must say a clear no to right-wing populists and nationalists."

European elections show signs of growth for right-wing populist and nationalist parties across europe. A political tremor in germany due to possible heavy losses for the union and the SPD in the european elections and a possible change of power in the SPD stronghold of bremen in northern germany could also cause the black-red coalition in berlin to falter again.

Weber warned: "the europe we have today is the best europe we have ever been allowed to live in." The CSU politician, who is also the european leadership candidate of the conservative european people’s party (EPP), added: "i will not let nationalists from the left and right take it away from us again."

Nahles said at an appearance with SPD top candidate udo bullmann: "it is definitely a directional election."The question is whether we want a europe that has done very well, or whether we want to go back to nationalism. It stands for a social europe in which everyone can live off their wages.

SPD top europe candidate katarina barley also warned against a vote for right-wing populists at the end of her election campaign. "They can knock everything down, but they don’t have the slightest clue how to build something up again," she said in trier. Brexit shows "what happens when you give power to the populists".

Even in the face of the latest attacks from the young youtuber scene, the union and SPD are growing nervous ahead of the european elections, the burgerschaft elections in bremen and municipal elections in ten federal states. Barley said of youtuber rezo’s criticism of coarse parties that she thinks it’s good "that young people are speaking out and articulating themselves". She added, however: "I would be pleased if you looked at the parties individually. Because in a coalition we all have to make compromises."

Meanwhile, the CDU/CSU and SPD continue to argue about the shape of the basic pension agreed in the coalition agreement. Brandenburg’s minister president dietmar woidke (SPD) told dpa about the project to increase the value of small pensions after 35 years of contributions: "the CDU/CSU simply has to get its act together."Hesse’s prime minister and CDU federal vice president, volker bouffier, also told dpa that he saw "no possibility of agreement at the level the SPD is now proposing, because I think it’s unfair.". The union demands a means-tested basic pension, the SPD rejects it.

The CDU/CSU and the SPD – coalition partners in the federal government – tried to mobilize their supporters with crude advertisements in daily newspapers in the final spurt of the election campaign. The union advertised a photo from the joint election closing of the european people’s party (EPP) in munich on friday, showing chancellor angela merkel (CDU) together with weber and CDU leader annegret kramp-karrenbauer. Merkel had largely stayed out of the european election campaign in germany, except for the rough event on friday.

The SPD showed in its ads the top candidate of the european social democrats, eu vice commission president frans timmermans. The german top candidates katarina barley and bullmann were not to be seen.

More than 40 percent of people in germany are in favor of chancellor merkel resigning amid significant losses for the CDU and CSU in the european elections. In a survey by the opinion research institute yougov, 42 percent were in favor of a change at the top of the government in such a case, 39 percent were against it, and 19 percent did not give an answer.

For months there has been speculation about whether merkel could also be removed as chancellor before the end of the 2021 legislative term. According to the yougov survey, 70 percent of union voters are against merkel’s resignation even in the event of a poor election result, and only 21 percent are in favor of it. Merkel handed over the CDU presidency to kramp-karrenbauer in december.

Almost one in three (31 percent) of all those surveyed by yougov believe that the grand coalition will collapse before the end of the current election period in 2021. 43 percent, on the other hand, expect the union and SPD to govern together for another two and a half years.

The greatest belief in the continuation of the grand coalition is among CDU and CSU voters (66 percent), ahead of the FDP (54 percent) and the greens (53 percent). Among SPD voters, on the other hand, confidence in the governing alliance with the union is less pronounced, at 48 percent.

In total, more than 400 million voters in the 28 EU member states will be able to decide on the 751 members of the new european parliament by sunday. Germany, where there are almost 65 million voters, accounts for 96 seats. Union and SPD must fear that in the european elections they will fall to their respective historically worst results. In bremen, the SPD is trailing the CDU in polls, losing power for the first time since 1945.