Beatrix Von Storch: “We Want to Advocate for Our Own National Interests”

Beatrix von Storch is the deputy leader of AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany) and a member of the Bundestag for. She possesses a formidable intellect, and has been instrumental in devising the AfD’s political and economic policies.

In the following video from a panel discussion on German state TV, Ms. Von Storch discusses the implications of Brexit for Germany and the rest of the European Union. She calls for the return of national sovereignty, and even floats the idea of “Dexit” — the departure of Germany from the EU.

Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   Forced Financed State TV show —Tough But Fair (14.01.2019) without Relotius-Drivel (5 against 1)
00:02   Here is Tough but Fair with Beatrix von Storch, the deputy leader of the AfD and a Brexit fan.
00:08   She says if the EU will not reform and stop the centralisation in Brussels then the citizens in Germany
00:16   should decide whether they still want to stay in this EU. —Ms. Von Storch, after the British voted
00:22   for the Brexit two and a half years ago, you said you cried tears of joy. —I figured that was coming.
00:29   Yes. Would a Brexit without a deal, a hard exit with no contract, would it still trigger tears of joy for you?
00:38   I think it’s good that they were allowed to decide and I think it’s good that the people were permitted
00:43   to decide about an essential question. The debate was long, intense and of course emotional,
00:47   but they decided on the subject. I think that’s good. We were not allowed to do that. The British entered into
00:55   the customs union in 1975 by referendum and after that a political union emerged for which they never voted.
01:01   That’s more than what we had. We were never allowed to vote. So, that is the main thrust of my response.
01:05   The second thing I was pleased to see is the fact that there is now an example of a country, hopefully,
01:13   being able to leave the European Union. This is a community of interests. You enter them, but you must
01:18   also be able to exit. It is an example and we now want to see if it works. The huge chaos and the dramatic
01:27   conditions predicted to develop on the island appear to have made the economic figures essentially
01:33   better than France, for example. In economic growth, budget deficits and so on, the British have been
01:38   in the midfield since 2015 as well. So better than France. Maybe a little bit worse than ours figures,
01:47   but there were no huge negative impacts. That was how the argument conducted, that the very day after
01:57   the referendum decision when everyone knew it was coming… —18 percent loss of the Pound Sterling.
02:05   Immediately. It lost immediately. So please Ms. Von Storch! —Unemployment has dropped from 5.5
02:09   to 4.5 percent. —Because we are still in the EU. —Because they then had a devalued pound and
02:14   because that promotes export. So all those forecasts that were there, were already announced
02:21   for the day of the referendum. —Ms. Von Storch, my initial question was whether you would be happy
02:26   if there was a hard Brexit. One without a contract. There are some people who say that
02:31   that is actually the original Brexit. One that doesn’t leave any back doors open. Would you be happy
02:36   about that? —I would be pleased if we let the British go their own way and at the same time
02:43   very seriously represent our interests. Meaning swiftly finalising customs agreements or trade agreements
02:48   depending on whether they leave the customs union or not. To protect our interests.
02:53   Because we have a great interest in free trade between the island and us. We have a huge trade surplus
02:59   and an export surplus. It is in our interest, no matter what happens tomorrow, to finalise trade agreements
03:07   or customs agreements quickly. That is in our interest. It is about 50 billion surplus for me.
03:12   For me, Brexit is a cautionary example and my message is that it is 1000 times better to renew Europe
03:17   where the mistakes are rather than leaving Europe. —The EU, not Europe.
03:22   Maybe a professional politician can explain it to me? I don’t know. How is it possible to passionately do
03:30   the opposite of what you know you don’t want from your own conviction? —That’s what the people demand.
03:36   They got the order from the people. There was a referendum and that’s what is being implemented.
03:41   Incidentally, there was already a referendum before, if you will. Cameron took office with the promise of a referendum.
03:48   Even for that, the majority of the people wanted the referendum. Then the referendum came and now we have
03:54   the decision that will be made by the parliament, which is elected democratically. So, it couldn’t get
03:58   more democratic that that. It is now doing what the people do. —And the populist win by the majority.
04:04   This Europe is too valuable to be left to them.
04:18   You should ask yourself the question, how did they come to this decision? Mr. Weber represents the position
04:23   of Mrs. Merkel. Merkel’s participation in the Brexit decision is immense. At the beginning, she didn’t help Cameron
04:31   enforce the reforms which the British requested before the referendum. Cameron was therefore unable
04:38   to present enough to avoid the referendum. The help of Frau Merkel wasn’t there. Then Frau Merkel made her
04:44   catastrophic migration decision which, of course, gave a decisive impetus to this decision of the British.
04:50   It was a close decision. It is thanks to the contribution from Mrs. Merkel and her immigration policies, that there was
04:55   a majority for Brexit. It probably wouldn’t have existed before that. And since referendum, her contribution and
05:00   her positioning to reach a deal is barely perceptible. In any case, we have heard nothing about it.
05:06   Ms. Von Storch. —May I say something? Many Thanks. —Please. Thank you very much.
05:10   No, I’m concerned about the examples you’ve presented so far. This is about customs controls. This is about
05:15   trade restrictions. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Precisely this, getting these stumbling blocks
05:20   out of the way as soon as possible is important. We should do this in our own best interest.
05:25   Please don’t let it get to that point. We don’t want to bring up any political demands or any penalties to be paid
05:32   before we’ve even finalised a trade agreement with them. That way we avoid the scenarios just presented and
05:38   ensure our present market remains intact. Because it is the largest market. Largest single market, in which
05:43   we raise trade surpluses up to 50 billion euros. We just discussed it.
05:47   Sometimes it is easy to think, oh that’s a British problem. Whoever believes that is really deluding themselves.
05:54   We will also be feeling the crunch and the tremors from it, at least that is what the experienced economics
06:01   Professor Hans-Werner Sinn says. —The United Kingdom is the second largest economy in Europe.
06:12   It is as big as the 19 smallest of the 28 EU countries taken together. The Brexit is thus economically the
06:24   equivalent to the simultaneous exit of these 19 of 28 EU countries. That shows what dimensions this has.
06:31   Some are saying, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out”, but I think that’s completely wrong.
06:39   This is about the beginning of the destruction of the post-war order. According to the Lisbon treaty,
06:46   decisions are regulated by the council of ministers by blocking the minority. The country group that has
06:52   35 percent of the EU population can not be outvoted. This rule has created two blocks.
07:01   Presently the block of Mediterranean countries has 38 percent of the EU population. Then there is the block
07:08   of northern countries which are Britain, Holland, Germany and Austria that has 39 percent.
07:16   So these two blocks could never be outvoted and this balance of power has determined Europe’s structure.
07:23   Now when the British leave the northern block, that percentage slips down to 30 percent becoming the minority
07:29   and the Mediterranean goes up to 43 percent, which puts them in charge. Then there will be another EU.
07:37   We just saw the figures. The Club Med: Italy, France, Spain have the majority and EU policies will have to
07:46   be made in cooperation with them now. The integration will be deepened. We will introduce a European
07:50   unemployment insurance in solidarity. All these things that are now propagated by the union (CDU).
07:55   That means money from the German nurse goes to correct failed economic policies in France and Spain.
08:01   This is now being sold to us as straightening the European community. Those countries down there that
08:07   support this idea, because it is in their national interest to do so. To advocate national interests is something
08:13   for which the government and also parliamentarians are elected for. Here in Germany that is completely
08:18   frowned upon. That is nationalism and nationalism is bad. Sure. The exaggeration of one’s own nation and
08:24   it’s importance is not what we want. We want to advocate for our own national interests. Where this EU
08:29   is heading now is not in our interest, because we will end up paying for it. We don’t want that.
08:35   And may I just say one more thing that is very important to me because you are all wondering
08:39   about it all the time. You say, “We don’t understand these Brits, we don’t understand Americans, because they
08:43   chose Trump, we don’t understand why the British have chosen to exit, we don’t understand them
08:47   because they still want to.” Yes, you also don’t understand why parties like ours arise and why I’m here now.
08:53   This is very unpleasant for all because you just don’t understand something. You just don’t understand that
08:58   citizens want their national interests to be represented and that they won’t be pushed forward into some global world
09:05   or even a European world. They want to have a job at home, that their interests are represented and that’s the
09:13   reason we are elected. Since you don’t understand that, you also don’t understand why people suddenly
09:17   do things you can’t comprehend. —It’s not the question of understanding it or not understanding it.
09:24   You risk German jobs, that is the real message behind it. —Mrs. Von Storch, Mr. Weber, let’s hear what the exact
09:30   decision was, then we’ll know what we are talking about and then we don’t have to tinker with subtleties.
09:34   We can just say it. —Should our fundamental reform approaches fail to materialize in the EU’s existing system
09:44   in a timely manner, we consider a withdrawal of Germany or an orderly dissolution of the European Union
09:52   and the creation of a new European economic and interest community to be necessary as a last resort.
09:59   The decision about the Dexit will be made among the citizens, as it is self-evident according to our model
10:04   of direct democracy. —The AfD brings the Dexit into play — the exit of Germany from the EU.
10:13   This became a part of the European elections program yesterday. Should the European Union not reform
10:19   to the party’s ideas, the AfD wants to get out of it all. The ideas are far-reaching. For example, the AfD wants
10:29   the return of the D-Mark… [Of course the State TV Channel ARD uses old, grimy coins]
10:35   and dissolve the European parliament.
10:42   Frau von Storch, how much time will you give the EU before Germany submits the question, leave or not?
10:50   The second sentence is important. We want to be in an economic and interest community. We really just want that
10:55   European Union, which the founding fathers of the European Union put on the table. Allied, sovereign nations,
11:04   that pool some of their interests where they share interests, with the greatest possible amount of free trade.
11:11   Just an economic and interest community. This isn’t a question of faith for us but that is a cost benefit calculation.
11:18   If it benefits us then we participate and we also represent our interests in promoting trade and commerce.
11:24   That helps us. We want that and we want to go back there. What the political parties more or less…
11:30   German parties, all of them. They want to move toward a kind of United States of Europe. Of course they don’t
11:39   call it that. They call it harmonising and consolidation and so on. Unification of standards and so forth.
11:43   The fact is, that’s where they want to go and that’s exactly where we don’t want to go. We certainly want to
11:47   keep our sovereignty. Many other countries want the same thing and don’t want to be governed from somewhere
11:55   else in a parliament where most of the colleagues don’t understand each other because handling 24 languages
12:00   is difficult over headphones all day. There is no real exchange. No real debate and a parliament thrives on
12:09   debate but for that you need one language. —And the question of whether we want a United States of Europe.
12:16   Not one person has suggested the United States of Europe. Not from my party. Nobody has demanded that.
12:20   You are top candidate for whole Europe, so to speak, for the group. That is also a fictional character
12:25   that goes along with this statehood. —This is exactly the theories we are seeing: we decide, Europe shouldn’t
12:30   decide. We decide. What does that mean in concrete terms? That the one country says we will receive refugees
12:35   in Europe in the name of solidarity and others reject this categorically. —That’s it.
12:39   Another says that Putin is our biggest friend while the others say Putin is the enemy.

2 thoughts on “Beatrix Von Storch: “We Want to Advocate for Our Own National Interests”

  1. hmmmm…Perhaps present time ,totally degenerated Fascist-Nazi German Nation and State should start from here ???
    ps.Be aware Video contain highly disturbing educational practices in Germany and Western Europe Educational Systems.. May have profound,negative impact for people practicing traditional virtues and values….

  2. She certainly knows how to dominate a forum, leaving her opponents scratching for an interjection opportunity. And landed some good hits by painting them as out of touch with ordinary people and their aspirations.

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