In July 2015 starts Bernd Lucke, Professor of Macroeconomics, in the Grugahalle in Essen at the lectern and is booed by his own party members. With whistles to interrupt the speech of their party leaders from Hamburg, they hold red cards in the air, they signal: We do not want you. Seldom was a Congress such agony for a chairman. This day is deselected in the gap, a thin man with a clear voice, as leader of the AFD and replaced by Frauke Petry from Saxony. It is the beginning of a change.
Today make Petry and her party colleague’s sentiment towards refugees, their AfD is more successful than ever. They have just cleared in the state elections: Around 24 percent in Saxony-Anhalt, also double-digit results in Baden-Württemberg and Rheinland-Pfalz. Bernd Lucke has left the AfD behind, the work of his former colleagues, he observed with great skepticism. And must evaluate this again, because probably nobody can classify rise and change better than the founding father himself. Especially in these days, in which his work has triumphed without him, his assessment is required.
While other ex-members of the party in its current form demonize downright emphasizes Lucke that he was proud of even today. Proud of what he had created, 2013. Much has gone wrong, the place and the 53-year-old, now he enters with his new party at Alfa (Alliance for progress and renewal). Yet the alternative for Germany will probably remain Bernd Luckes political life’s work.
With AFD you’ve created a monster. This set of Hans-Olaf Henkel, this unsparing self reflection own fault and merciless reckoning with his former party, haunted in recent weeks repeatedly by the media. Hans-Olaf Henkel, best-selling author and former IBM boss, can not believe that is sweeping through the AFD, which he once made with large and whose members were originally gone out to abolish the euro all hatred. Henkel referred to the AFD today as “NPD light”, Bernd Lucke however wants of such statements know nothing.
As an MEP Lucke lives in Brussels. He is still convinced of his actions. He says not only that you can hear on the phone in his voice, without seeing him: “It was right and necessary that we used to set up a Civil and EUR critical party,” says the economics professor. Germany’s party system was plugged into a crisis, with the AFD you wanted to oppose this crisis somewhat. And that is still a good approach takes Lucke: “We need a radical change in the party system – now even more urgent than ever.” But yes, he of course very sorry, what development took the AFD.
He has had enough of the past. We do not want to talk all the time about the past yet. He would rather look to the future, apply to the program of his party Alfa. “I’m not the boss commentator AfD”, the 53-year-old is not tired of repeating. To then always talking again in Rage. Lucke will conclude with the AFD and he does not. Because the public does not let him. And because the disappointment is too deep, it seems.
It was a gradual process, says the professor. The change of course, the infiltration by right-wing populists. First is because they measured Russia-glorification been some party colleagues, the attitude adjustment political occurrence of individuals. “I am amazed at how Alexander Gauland has changed,” says the 53-year-old. At that time, in the initial phase of the AFD, Gauland was restrained. A strictly conservative, yes, but always in the background. “He has become a right-wing nationalist populist who simply picks up the mood on the streets and fueling” says Lucke.
The man on the phone is not only a close observer and analyst of his former colleagues, but also one who perceives nuances. One must only times says Lucke, look at the vocabulary, such as the one Björn Höcke who spoke at demonstrations of a “millennial Germany”, or just call from Alexander Gauland, the refugees as barbarians. “And then of course there’s this fact that Marcus Pretzell has considered in November shooting at refugees as a suitable measure to prevent border crossings,” says Lucke. This was particularly shocking for him.
Almost all euro critics from the gap-bearing are now resigned – just a few exceptions among the Liberals have taken part in the shift to the right. Just as the Hamburger Group chairman Jörn Kruse. “I am very surprised that he has the AFD not long left, he would content actually Alfa fit,” says Lucke. But he did not want to speculate about motives. Contact no longer have the professors.
Unlike people like Hans-Olaf Henkel Bernd Lucke is always careful to omit the very large settlement with the AFD. He chooses his words carefully, in general he thought little of polarization and emotional, he says. And he now had other tasks, there are now Alfa. The party should be Luckes political restart, the 53-year-old wants to make things right, what went so terribly wrong in his AFD-time. How tough can this struggle, was in the state elections: Since Alfa cracked just as the Einprozentgrenze.
Anyone wishing to become a member, must meet criteria
What probably is not just because of the lack of awareness, but probably also in hosting the refugees. This differs according to Lucke namely very: “We do not engage in polemics against refugees We’re clear to Western ties, so to membership in NATO and the EU, even if we believe that the EU urgently needs reform – and not least cheap for an informed debate, not for. chatter. ” With all the disappointment with the expulsion from his own party other would possibly come to the decision to return the policy entirely back. but not Lucke. He was selected to 2019 as an MEP, he says: “The voters have given me their confidence, I have a political responsibility.”
To avoid that Alfa is infiltrated by rights, Lucke has established strict rules. Anyone wishing to become a member of his party, has to fulfill a whole set of criteria, without admission interview, nothing works. Are to Lucke and his colleagues not sure whether a candidate fits to them, there is initially only a trial membership. Right-wing populists, conspiracy theorists and Islam enemies had no business at Alfa says Lucke. But that would anyway prefer to go to the AFD. With Alfa wants to appeal to the liberal-conservative part of the middle class, so by the government disappointed.
Bernd Lucke wants to convince in the future with sober policy, he says, wants to continue what he has started 2013 with the AFD. He has decided against the right-wing populism. And now fights irrelevance.