To be against euro insane, says German minister

To be against euro insane, says German minister

BERLIN - Reuters
To be against euro insane, says German minister

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said a new anti-euro party ‘can’t be taken seriously.’ AFP photo

A core policy of a new anti-euro party was criticised as “economically insane” by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in an interview published on April 28. Support for the Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD), which wants Germany to quit the euro and reintroduce the deutsche mark, is at 2 percent, according to a survey by Emnid pollsters also released on the same day.

“For Germany, it would be economically insane to exit the euro,” Schaeuble told German weekly Focus, adding thatSwitzerland’s struggle with its soaring franc proved how problematic it could be to have a stronger currency.

Schaeuble warned support for the AfD could still cost the ruling coalition crucial votes in September’s elections.

Political analysts say it would be difficult for the AfD, launched a few months ago by a group of renegade academics, journalists and businessmen, to get above the five percent threshold needed to enter parliament in September.

But Schaeuble said that the elections in Lower Saxony in January, in which the centre-left opposition edged Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives out of power in an extremely tight race, had shown how crucial each vote was.

A majority of Germans continue to back the euro, opinion surveys regularly show, but the AfD is trying to tap into concerns about the mounting costs of bailouts for heavily indebted countries in the southern euro zone. Analysts say a strong result for the AfD in September could influence German eurozone policy by making Berlineven less willing to back future bailouts.