Angela Merkel has been re-elected as German Chancellor following elections in the country yesterday.
Though it was a convincing win for the CDU/CSU (Christian Democratic Union of Germany and Christian Social Union in Bavaria), the victory was overshadowed by the rise of the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) party.
Right-wing AfD has gained favour amidst rising anti-migrant sentiment, following Angela Merkel’s open door immigration policies throughout 2015/16.
With the Chancellor having stated in the summer of 2015 that “there is no legal limit to refugee numbers”, hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants, many of whom were not genuine refugees, flooded into Germany, prompting domestic and international backlash.
The AfD has capitalised off of the social unrest and anger this mass-movement caused and gained 12.6% of the vote yesterday, winning its first seats in the Federal Parliament and becoming the Bundestag’s third largest party.
Stock markets in Europe faltered when markets opened this morning, but are starting to head higher. The major growth of a far-right party in Germany has significant implications for the EU and as such, investors are concerned about the election results. This concern prompted a reasonable sell-off earlier. The Euro is also lower against the Pound and Dollar due to these anxieties.