Germany’s internal intelligence services once again focus attention on the extreme right. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party closed this Sunday a two-weekend congress to define its program for the European elections in June 2024 with xenophobic speeches against certain ethnic groups that were closely followed by the Federal Office Protection of the Constitution (Germany’s internal intelligence services). “Some of the applicants (to be candidates on the list) made clearly unconstitutional proclamations,” said Thomas Haldenwang, head of espionage, who also pointed to the radically anti-European course of the ultras.
Haldenwang thus reiterated similar warnings made a week ago, against which the AfD leadership appealed to the courts on the grounds that the secret services were trying to influence the country’s politics and its congress, which led to the office federal to wait for this Monday to pronounce. The most recent surveys indicate that the AfD is the second party in intention to vote in Germany, behind the Christian Democrats and slightly above the Social Democrats of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
“In successive statements by the party, an ethnic concept of the people is observed and respect for dignity for certain population groups is questioned. Such statements offer indications that the guarantee of human dignity of the Basic Law for certain groups of the population is being questioned, ”said the head of the federal office. Haldenwang has also pointed to the AfD’s support for the great replacement theory, which considers that Europeans will end up being replaced by African and Middle Eastern migrants, among others.
Alternative for Germany (AfD) has described the EU in its program as a “failed project”, calls for the end of the Schengen area with the return of controls at national borders, the dissolution of the European Parliament, the appointment by Germany of magistrates of the Court of Justice of the EU and the withdrawal from the euro area; that is, the return to the German mark. The espionage services have warned about the unconstitutionality of several of the proclamations launched during the meeting, whose proposals imply blowing up the EU.
“We consider that the EU is irreformable and we see it as a failed project”, the text adopted by the delegates as the main premise in a congress that brought together some 600 AfD delegates abounds.
A candidate investigated for fraud
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To head the list that defends these postulates, the ultras have chosen Maximilian Krah, an MEP since 2019 and already suspended twice by the Identity and Democracy (ID) group of the European Parliament, the body that AfD proposes to dissolve. Since February, Krah has been under investigation for alleged fraud for the possible rigging of a public tender.
Along the lines of other far-right European parties, the AfD proposes creating “a federation of European nations, a new European economic and interest community that preserves the sovereignty of the member states.” The agreed text, despite the harshness with the EU, is a softened version of a draft published in June that called for the “orderly dissolution” of the community organization or the departure of Germany, the so-called “Dexit”, a play on words between Deutschland (Germany) and exit (exit), similar to the British Brexit.
The document accuses the EU of a “total failure” in migratory policies and the fight against climate change, which the AfD flatly rejects, and criticizes the sanctions against Russia, without naming it, for the invasion of Ukraine.
The ultra party has experienced a significant rise in the polls, driven by the weakening economy and growing public discontent with the tripartite coalition of the Social Democratic Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, with the Greens and the liberals. With a deeply political vision anti-Islamic, xenophobic and skeptical of climate change, reaches between 20% and 23% in voting intention surveys.
AfD hopes to capitalize on its demoscopic success and maximize its presence in the European Parliament, where it shares a group with Matteo Salvini’s League and Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, among others. At its congress, the party agreed to present 35 candidates for MEPs in the June 2024 elections. Currently, it has nine European legislators.
The far-right formation is also looking to capture a breakthrough in regional elections in three eastern German states next year, where it traditionally has its strongest base of support. “We are ready for more,” AfD co-leader Tino Chrupalla told ZDF broadcaster, adding that the party wants to “get out of the opposition and into the government”. In the 2021 federal elections, the AfD was the fifth force, with 10.3%, which shows the recent boom that the formation is experiencing.
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