German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the Global Ireland conference in Dublin Castle yesterday
“ I will leave it to the bookmakers and fortune-tellers to predict the results of discussions in London. However, there are three takeaways from the Brexit process and the current state of world affairs that I would like to share with you today.
The first is: We are strong when we stand together. During the Brexit negotiations, all 27 Member States agreed on a common position – and stood by it.
This unity includes full solidarity with Ireland. We insisted, and still do, that a hard border dividing the Irish island is unacceptable. And yes, some people called us stubborn.
But the truth is: Avoiding a hard border in Ireland is a fundamental concern. It is a matter of principle, a question of identity for the European Union. A union that, more than anything else, serves one purpose: To build and maintain peace in Europe.
As Germans, we understand how walls and borders can threaten peace. We believe in the peace-making power of European unity.
A belief we share with you, the Irish. Your Good Friday Agreement is living proof of this principle”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Dublin Castle yesterday.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade Simon Coveney with his German counterpart Heiko Maas, who is on a one day visit to Dublin.
Mr Coveney and Mr Mass unveiled proposals for closer Irish-German ties, including “a new consulate in Frankfurt, a joint Irish-German economic council, closer political and ministerial exchanges and a greater arts push co-ordinated by a new cultural director in Berlin”.
AfD supporters celebrate as exit polls are announced
Projected results put the AfD on 13%, behind Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat-led alliance on 32.9% and the Social Democratic party on 20.8%. The rightwing populist party’s delegates are expected to take more than 80 out of 631 seats in the next parliament.
While the result may not be on the scale of 52% of Britons voting to leave the European Union or 46% of US voters casting their ballot for Donald Trump, it nonetheless represents a landmark in postwar German history.
Germany’s rightwing populists will arrive in the Bundestag with the best result for any new party since 1949, a higher share of the vote than either the Greens or the leftwing Die Linke have achieved in several decades.
In the states that used to form East Germany, AfD looks likely to become the second-largest party.
AfD may not be the first far-right party to enter the Bundestag since the second world war: until 1960 a number of small nationalist groups took part in the coalition government under West Germany’s first post-war chancellor, Konrad Adenauer.
But it will be the first party with an overtly nationalist rhetoric and agenda to claim seats in Berlin’s Reichstag, a building that still echoes with the horrors of the Nazi era.
Here is the problem: A far-right party has achieved substantial support even in Germany, a country with a history that serves as a warning of what the far right can do in power, and a political establishment that has long paid attention to confronting the right.
Germany furthermore lacks many of the characteristics commonly associated with far-right populism — the economy is in good shape, the unemployment rate is low, and Germany’s power and prestige are at a historic high. All this says that citizens are more disaffected and populism has greater appeal than many analysts have recognized.
We want to document last night’s amazing win over Germany through the eyes of the fans and would appreciate the help of the good folk who read Broadsheet. Best fan video uploaded by midnight this Saturday will win €500 cash, a nice sweetener. Any fan video to do with the match is eligible by the way. Could be one filmed at home, in a pub or at work anywhere around the world, not just the Aviva.