BDI President Grillo: State elections a wake-up call for rational parties

BDI President Ulrich Grillo comments on the results of the state elections in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt. He describes the AfD as a protest party with no political content.

“The rational parties must view these results as a wake-up call,” said BDI President Ulrich Grillo on Monday in Berlin, speaking in response to the results of the Landtag elections in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt. “Parties with genuine political content are now faced with the task of improving Germany’s image through responsible policies.”  

“It is now more important than ever to explain how we can successfully receive and integrate refugees,” stressed Grillo, going on to say that Germany does have possibilities and opportunities and that they are the best remedy against right-wing populist tendencies.  

“It is by no means unthinkable that the strong support being shown in some areas for backward-looking parties such as AfD and the Left Party could scare off investors,” he warned. “People in Saxony-Anhalt should be concerned.”  

He explained that Germany’s economic strength is a valuable asset, with society benefitting greatly from the international success of its companies. “This is only possible,” he continued, “through our international activities. But that is not a one-way street.”

“Overall, it seems to me that people have voted less for parties and more for people – and unfortunately also for empty words. You can gain votes with slogans, but they have never proven to be sustainable in the long-term,” said Grillo. “For me, the AfD is a protest party with no political content.”

However, he recognised that grappling with other thoughts and opinions is all part of politics – even though this can sometimes be difficult. The BDI President did mention the positive fact that voter turnout was up in all three states.