Op-ed by Pascal Najadi
Germany is currently walking into the biggest socio-economic crisis since WW2. But there is a new North Star on the horizon and her name is Dr. Alice Weidel. She is a young and dynamic banker and economist that also speaks Mandarin. Alice leads the German conservative AfD party with courage and cleverness to new heights. Who is she and what makes her so special amidst the failed Scholz government?
Germany under Scholz’s leadership has been suffering loss of credibility and economic punch never seen before since the second world war. Its foreign policy has been focused since February 24th 2022 entirely on Ukraine and its energy security has been destroyed ever since. The de-industrialisation and decimation of its middle class is in full swing. The German public loses confidence as their standard of living gets more and more compromised by a ruling coalition that is out of touch with reality. To make matters worse, a targeted sabotage on Nordstream 1 & 2a executed by a foreign government killed the option to secure energy for the winter that is demanding gas to heat German homes and to drive German industrial production.
Scholz and his crew either seem to be immune or mentally challenged to admit that there are serious socioeconomic challenges hitting Berlin in full force. They give the impression that foreign issues matter more than their own at home. One cannot escape from this reality, it’s visible through all layers of German society and there seems to be no one willing or courageous enough to change course within the Scholz administration. To make matters worse, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on November 21st, “We will not leave Moldova in the cold nor in the darkness”, making reference to Moldova’s energy challenges through the winter of 2022. Germans are beginning to wonder where their government is that is supposed to work in their interests.
And here is the rising North Star, Dr. Alice Weidel, the young leader of the German conservative party AfD and a member of the Bundestag in Berlin. She has been with her party for 10 years, knows every inch and corner of the AfD by heart and has quit an impressive banking career to save her country. The opposition resorts to demonizing her because they are completely lost by their inability to intellectually respond to Weidel’s drive, charm and success. They have no new ideas to present and no arguments to debunk the truth that Weidel presents with vigor in the Bundestag. Her speech at the Bundestag on November 23rd was epic and many observers were impressed by Weidel’s clarity, rhetoric and elegance on display, talking tough and honestly about the deplorable state of affairs in Germany. She advocates peace negotiations and normalisation of relations with the Russian Federation with the withdrawal of sanctions to secure badly needed energy for Germany.
The North Star has arrived and most are unable to grasp its clarity, honesty and the power it beholds. Weidel represents the new generation, albeit a rare species in Germany, that builds on integrity, honest and clear communication with its sovereign, the citizens of this most important nation within the EU. Money seems to be unimportant for her as she has quit her successful banking careers at Goldman Sachs, the Bank of China and Allianz Finance. Fear seems not to be part of her vocabulary as well as weakness but she is intelligently careful on many fronts yet remains curious enough to satisfy her thirst for more knowledge. Alice Weidel is the rare example of a humanist that benefits from both an academic intellect merged with emotional intelligence.
Her party AfD is undergoing big change, one that is becoming visible but will be on full display going forward. Perhaps the AfD is realizing that with the leadership of Weidel there can only be one winner and this is Germany and its people from all walks of life and the German industry. To unite is never easy but there is a fair chance for success if tried by being bold and daring and it looks that this is just one of the many leadership qualities of Alice Weidel, the new hope for Germany. As Konrad Adenauer once said: “First make yourself unpopular, then you will be taken seriously”. Weidel is quite unpopular, with the opposition and the current failing government and they are starting to take her seriously. This is perhaps the nicest compliment for a young, intelligent and dynamic leader that wants to bring real change to the people in Germany.
* Pascal Najadi is an international investment banker and, as a director of the Dresdner Bank Group, London, was responsible for Central Asia, Russia, Africa, Central Europe and the Middle East. He is interested in international affairs and civic debate in Switzerland. He also produced the film “Grounding” about the bankruptcy of Swissair. He currently lives in Switzerland in retirement.