August 26, 2023 - 8:00am

For decades, Germany was a beacon of centrist political stability. During her 16-year leadership, Angela Merkel led a succession of grand coalitions which neutralised the political extremes, and piloted her country through an era of steady economic growth.

Today, that political settlement has dissolved. Germany’s reliance on Russian gas has devastated its industrial economy, while the surface tranquillity of the Merkel era is a distant memory. Alternative für Deutschland, a far-Right populist party, has been the beneficiary of this chaos, surging in the polls to become the second-most popular party in Germany. To understand this reversal of fortunes and what it means for Europe and the world, Freddie Sayers spoke to Wolfgang Münchau, former co-editor of FT Deutschland, and founder and co-director of Eurointelligence.