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Bavaria elections 2018: Bosses meddle with memo warning voters AGAINST populism | World | News
Published On: Fri, Oct 12th, 2018

Bavaria elections 2018: Bosses meddle with memo warning voters AGAINST populism | World | News


The regional elections, which take place on Sunday, are seen as a bell-weather for the national political picture and could further weaken Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 13-year grip on power.

Munich-based aircraft engine maker MTU Aero Engines and consultants EY have both sent out memos which highlight corporate fears about growing support for the far right in the region and perceived threats to German political stability.

Neither company mentioned the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) by name in the internal memos but their message is clear.

The AfD, which has campaigned in Bavaria with the slogan “our state, our homeland”, is poised to surge into the regional assembly in Bavaria for the first time after Sunday’s vote.

MTU told employees in a letter: “Populist slogans don’t take our country forward, but rather targeted government action on the basis of our core values.

“Germany, and especially a strategically-orientated industry like ours, relies on stable political conditions.

The letter was posted on the company’s intranet and a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

Company directors insisted they were not advising their employees which party to back but urged them to vote “responsibly”. Around half of MTU’s 10,000 workers are based in Bavaria.

EY’s Munich-based managing director in Germany, Hubert Barth, sent an email to staff which said: “Today, our liberal democracy is once again exposed to major attacks at home and from abroad.

“Our democracy is an important part of our economic success.

“I call on all colleagues to exercise their right to vote in order to strengthen the democratic and constitutional forces in our country.”

The AfD has surged in popularity with anti-Islamic rhetoric and attacks on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migrant policy – a hot topic in Bavaria, where most of the 1.5 million asylum seekers who reached Germany in the past three years entered the country.

The party’s rise has decimated support for Mrs Merkel’s Bavarian allies the Christian Social Union (CSU) which is set to lose the absolute majority with which it has controlled the southern state for most of the post-war period.

The latest polls show support for the AfD ahead of the election stands at around 14 percent which put it on course to secure seats in 15 of Germany’s 16 state assemblies.

The loss of the CSU’s absolute majority in Bavaria would put yet more pressure on Mrs Merkel’s crisis-torn coalition Government and could potentially lead to its downfall.



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Bavaria elections 2018: Bosses meddle with memo warning voters AGAINST populism | World | News