A new German party says no to the euro

Goodbye: That’s what some Germans want to say to the euro.
Goodbye: That’s what some Germans want to say to the euro.
Image: Lukas Barth/dapd
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Not all of Germany is joining the fight to save the euro.

As Europe slides into what looks like another recession, a group of economists has formed a party to channel their criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s steadfast support of the currency. Time after time, she has said: “If the Euro fails, Europe fails.”

The party “Alternative für Deutschland,” or Alternative for Germany, demands a legal framework for Germany and other European countries to leave the euro and return to their national currencies, or form smaller, stable currency unions.

Bernd Lucke, one of the three founders, is a professor of macroeconomics who left Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union in 2011, after her party had set out the course to save the euro. Many party members teach economics at various German universities. “Germany doesn’t need the euro,” the party says on its website. “The euro hurts other countries.”

The party held its first public meeting yesterday with about 1,200 guests. Lucke criticized Merkel for offering no alternatives to bailouts. The party wants the euro zone to be “orderly” dismantled (German), but says it still supports a united Europe and free trade among countries.

The party will officially be founded in April. To run in the parliamentary elections this fall, its members have to collect 2,000 signatures in each of the 16 German states by mid-July.