The end of German exceptionalism

The big story of the German election is clearly the rise of the nationalist right, in the form of Alternative for Germany, which scored over 13 per cent of the vote and will be the third-largest bloc in parliament with more than 90 MPs. …

[T]he strong showing of the populists, and particularly the AfD, puts an end to the fond hope that the “burden of history” means that Germany is immune to extremism. On the contrary, many German observers were shaken by the undercurrent of anti-establishment rage revealed by the election campaign. At many of her rallies, Ms Merkel was drowned out by jeering and whistling, a new development in German politics. …

The presence of a rightwing nationalist party in the Bundestag will change the tone of German politics. It could also complicate the way Germany interacts with the rest of Europe, putting pressure on the government to take more nationalist positions. …

A fourth term in office is a personal triumph for Ms Merkel. But she has paid a price for her policies on refugees and the euro. Germany now looks more like a “normal” western country. And that, ironically, is not something to be welcomed.

Read The Full Article At The Financial Times