Bitcoin, ethereum and most other cryptos are up today as uncertainty returns to Europe with the Brexit quagmire continuing, Italy heading to an historic election, and Merkel’s fate awaiting a decisive vote on her premiership tomorrow.
Germany’s version of Republicans, led by Merkel, and their Democrats have entered into a grand coalition. Leaving as official opposition only the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party led by a bitcoiner with 15% of the public vote.
But, the party members of Germany’s democrats have to vote on whether to approve a coalition deal that gives them a number of ministries.
A youth movement, led by a 28-year-old named Kevin Kuehnert, has risen against it under the banner of No Grand Coalition (NoGroKo).
“We cannot continue like this: the cozy politics represented by Angela Merkel which does not decide anything,” he said. “This is now, slowly, ending. This debate in now breaking through in my own party and I believe in society.”
Merkel is Europe’s longest serving leader and few can remember a time when Germany had a different premiership. She now wants another term, which would make her one of the world’s longest serving head of state.
The problem is populist movements are rising across the world, including Germany, following the banking collapse which led to citizens paying trillions.
In Germany in particular the fear is this coalition would in effect electorally wipe out the SPD democrats in their next election and fuel the rise of AfD which would act as the only opposition. Kuehnert says:
“The differences between the big political parties have systematically become blurred. That will only end up strengthening political parties like the right-wing populists.
Not without reason they have integrated the word ‘Alternative’ into their name because you get the impression that there are no longer alternatives amongst the traditional German parties.
I think a new grand coalition is playing right into that and this is more dangerous for democracy than possible new elections.”
The vote of 400,000 SPD members is close with polls estimating 57% are in favor, around the same as estimates for in favor of remain or Hillary. So no one believes the polls anymore, with actual results to be announced on Sunday.
If they vote down the coalition, Merkel could continue running as a very weak minority government, but whatever the decision she will probably be biting her time after more than a decade of ruling.
She wouldn’t really be able to push forward any change, with Merkel already perceived as out of touch, unresponsive to the changing winds.
A no vote however would create uncertainty and would be another sign of popular rebellion. Combined with a potential shock vote in Italy, it could be an explosive mix.
That has led to an increase in the value of cryptocurrencies, with bitcoin leading, while stocks have been falling now for weeks.
Cryptos, so being outside of government control, might be seen by some as a potentially safe parking zone when government issued currencies, like the euro, come into question.
The recent rise, therefore, might be partly due to these uncertainties in Europe, combined with Trump opening a trade war, which could raise questions regarding the direction our world is going.