The German election isn’t scheduled until September 24, but very early polls showing the ruling coalition not doing as well as they hoped sparked a major investigation by the German intelligence agency, the BND, into “Russian interference” in the eventual campaign.
The BND’s report came up empty, however, unable to come up with any evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to undermine Chancellor Angela Merkel’s reelection, and a rather paltry list of incidents that could even conceivably be pinned on the Russians.
The biggest thing they did find was a single WhatsApp post in Russian language claiming that Muslims were plotting “sex jihad” on Valentines Day. The report conceded this single post was probably too “amateurish” to be a Russian government plot.
EU officials have been eager to hype the claims of Russian meddling in elections across the continent, claiming this was the reason that Euroskeptic parties have been polling better in recent months. Polls have so far shown that the present German coalition will likely retain a majority, though the Euroskeptic AfD’s rising numbers have made them somewhat nervous.
The alternative explanation for the polling, that the Euroskeptic vote is rising because voters are genuinely unhappy with the way the EU is being run, has not been given much consideration so far, but the inability to find anything to pin the matter on Russia may force the union to reexamine this.
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