Deutschland AG worries about the rise of the hard-right AfD

WHEN JAN PAUL BACH moved his business, which makes ceramic-heating kit, from Berlin to Brandenburg 13 years ago he never thought about politics. Abundant land near Werneuchen, a city of 9,000, allowed Bach RC to build two new production lines. Today it has 50 employees and an overflowing order book from clients across the globe. And Mr Bach has become distracted by the rise of the xenophobic Alternative for Germany (AfD). He is now hesitating about building another much-needed line. He occasionally thinks about relocating the business altogether.

The strong gains by the AfD in elections on September 1st in the eastern states of Brandenburg (where its vote almost doubled to 24%) and Saxony (where it tripled to 28%) is worrying the export-driven companies of Deutschland AG. The bosses of the BDA, an association of German entrepreneurs, and of the BDI, which groups German industry, released statements signalling their concern about the result. In Mr Bach’s district the AfD was the strongest party. International clients and distributors are asking Mr Bach if Brandenburg has become a no-go area. “They think Nazis are running around in the street,” he says.

Eastern Germans have never had it so good. The average salary in eastern Germany increased from less than 50% of western German pay in 1991 to 82% today (and 90% when...

via Business Feeds

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