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Why The Latest Anti-Euro Party Is a Major Concern

Tuesday, 16 Apr 2013 | 4:40 AM ET
Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

The rise of anti-euro parties in Europe is a warning sign for the region's unity and the single currency, analysts told CNBC on Tuesday, with the latest anti-euro party coming from Europe's powerhouse Germany.

The "Alternative fuer Deutschland" (AfD) movement launched in Germany on Sunday advocates leaving the euro.

It's the latest party in Europe to advocate such a move adds to the increasing number of anti-euro movements and parties that have sprouted up since the financial crisis led to large-scale bailouts and austerity measures across the region.

(Read More: Europe's Austerity Era Could Be Coming to an End)

The party would win only three percent in an election, according to a poll commissioned for the German newspaper Bild, below the official 5 percent threshold needed to enter parliament. But the founding of the AfD is a sign that public disaffection with the euro zone is growing not only in struggling nations but within Europe's strongest economy.

Previous polls have suggested one in four German voters would consider supporting AfD, Reuters reported, reflecting the sense of unease over the long-term costs and viability of the euro project.

(Read More: The Euro Zone Crisis Is Back)

Karsten Schroeder, chairman of Amplitude Capital, said the AfD showed that skepticism about the euro was spreading among politicians as well as the public.

"That parties are established is a reflection that there are more and more politicians that are becoming more skeptical about the euro as a concept per se. We've often discussed the possibility of actually Germany exiting the euro rather than kicking peripheral states out. That possibility is being discussed more and more," Schroeder told CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party is ahead in opinion polls with 39 percent of the vote in the run-up to national elections in September. That lead makes it safe from fringe parties such as the AfD. But skepticism over the euro zone and Germany's role in bailouts for its southern European neighbors could damage Merkel's support base.

The German public's discontentment has not been helped by research released on Monday that showed, on average, households in southern Europe are wealthier than those in Germany.

(Read More: Germans Among the Poorest in Europe: ECB Study)

That has prompted two prominent German economic advisers to advocate a "wealth tax" on private property and other assets to fund future bailouts.

"Domestically, there is not a lot of support among the German people for [bailouts] and research like this does not help in terms of support for Merkel's policies over Europe," Schroeder said. "You have all these austerity measures and attitude of punishment towards the southern European states but at the same time she has to maintain a pro-euro [stance]."

The rise of anti-euro parties has been seen across Europe, from Beppe Grillo's "Five Star Movement" in Italy to the anti-establishment SYRIZA in Greece and the anti-European UKIP party (the U.K. Independence Party) increasing their share of votes.

(Read More: Soros Tells Germany It Should Leave Euro)

Five euro zone countries have had to receive bailouts orchestrated by the so-called troika of the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Commission, and the crisis is not over with political disarray in Italy and Slovenia seen as the next possible candidate for a bailout.

Alastair Newton, senior political analyst at Nomura, told CNBC that there was "no alternative" to Angela Merkel but near-term instability in the euro zone could change that.

"If though we had some major crisis between now and the German election we might have to reconsider that. But actually, the AfD is already having an impact on German policy, in my view. It was instrumental in driving a tougher line on Cyprus, not only from the Christian Democrats (Merkel's party) but Peer Steinbruek and the SPD (the main opposition party) who have suddenly decided they are going to be less soft on Europe in the run up to this election."

- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt

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