Key centre-Right German party adopts new hardline Eurosceptic stance on immigration, says European bureaucrats need "withdrawal therapy"

The new secretary general of Chancellor Angela Merkel's long time centre-Right allies, the CSU, in radical shift towards Euroscepitc position -- interview reveals

by the commentator on 7 January 2014 21:14


In a move which close observers of German politics are hailing as a radical shift towards British style euroscepticism, the new secretary general of the Christian Social Union, (CSU), a long-time key ally in government and opposition of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, has come out with a scathing attack on the leadership of the European Union in Brussels.

Using highly charged language, he simultaneously criticised large-scale immigration of unskilled labourers to Germany.

In an interview with the respected Die Welt newspaper, CSU Secretary General Andreas Scheuer (pictured above) was questioned critically about a new party document for the forthcoming local and then European elections which said: "We need a withdrawal therapy for commissioners intoxicated with regulation."

"But that sentence is true," Scheuer protested. "The CSU as a whole has the goal of junking the Eurocratic ballast."

In language that is rarely heard about the European Union in mainstream German politics but is common among the centre-Right in Britain, he added:

"We are sounding a warning against developments which could subsequently impact negatively on Germany. The CSU operates an early warning system."

Echoing criticism from eurosceptics that the European Union has moved against democratic principles and its leaders live remote lives on high salaries at taxpayers' expense, he went on to say: "Maybe some EU functionaries need to get out of their luxury offices now and then, and talk to the people. Then they'll be able to carry out policies which are rooted in practical life."

Scheuer's remarks were no less hardline on EU immigration policy which allows free movement among member states and automatic residency, labour and (usually) welfare rights.

"Qualified workers are cordially welcome. The German economy needs them. But, according to the Federal Employment Agency's own figures, 46 per cent of the Romanians and Bulgarians who have come to Germany since 2007 have not completed any vocational training.

"Why should Germany become Europe's welfare repair workshop? Why should we bring other countries' problems to Germany? There must be no freedom of movement into our social security systems," he said.

"Why should I bring problems into our country with roots somewhere else entirely?"

Martin Walker, a veteran foreign correspondent from Britain and an analyst of European and global politics said in an article for the UPI news agency that the CSU position sounded similar to the hardline Euroscepticism in Britain which has forced Prime Minister David Cameron to call for a referendum in 2017 on whether Britain should leave the EU altogether.

"Simply put, they [the CSU] sound more and more like Britain's euroskeptics, the political heirs to Margaret Thatcher," said Walker.

"The CSU's prime concern is to reduce the size and the powers of the commission, traditionally the supranational body which is meant to embody and further the cause of European integration. And they want all important decisions to be subject to a referendum," he added.

The CSU says it is not ideologically opposed to the European Union as such but wants a much more democratic framework for the Brussels-based 28-member club, less bureaucracy and greater control over immigration.

Walker said the CSU's change of direction, "speaks volumes for the change in German attitudes triggered by the euro crisis."

The CSU is the dominant centre-Right party in Bavaria.

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