Anti-euro party gaining ground

BERLIN — A new party that wants Germany to quit the euro could win enough votes to enter parliament, according to an opinion poll published on Monday.

The INSA-Meinungstrend survey commissioned for Bild Online showed the Alternative fuer Deutschland winning 5 per cent – the threshold for winning seats in the Bundestag lower house – for the first time since its launch earlier this year.

Germany holds a national election in September.

A majority of Germans continue to back the euro, but the AfD is trying to tap into concerns about the mounting costs of bailouts for heavily indebted countries in the southern euro zone.

Political analysts say a strong result for the AfD in September could influence German euro zone policy by making Berlin even less willing to back future bailouts.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in a weekend interview that Germany’s ruling centre-right coalition should take the AfD seriously. He said the AfD could steal votes from the coalition, denying it a majority after the September poll.

Monday’s poll showed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives still well ahead on 38 per cent while their current coalition partner, the liberal Free Democrats, was on 5 per cent.

The main opposition Social Democrats were on 26 per cent.

FDP leader Philipp Roesler, who is also economy minister in Merkel’s coalition, told Monday’s edition of Bild that the AfD was bad news for Germany and he ruled out any deal with it. (Reuters)

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