AfD excluded from right-wing group in the European Parliament

All AfD MEPs have been excluded from the right-wing ID group in the European Parliament. A corresponding motion by group leader Marco Zanni had received the necessary support, several group representatives told the German Press Agency in Brussels on Thursday. Previously, statements by AfD MP and top candidate for the European elections Maximilian Krah on the SS had sparked sharp criticism.

The adopted decision states that in view of “the series of incidents in which Mr Maximilian Krah and thus also the German delegation of the group were involved and in view of the fact that these incidents have damaged the cohesion and reputation of the group”, the membership of the members of the German delegation will be terminated with immediate effect. The names of all nine AfD MEPs are listed.

Only Austria and Estonia protest against AfD exclusion

The exclusion of the AfD MPs is primarily symbolic, as Parliament will not meet again until after the European elections in two weeks. The parliamentary groups may then be re-formed.

The exclusion request was voted on in a written procedure within the parliamentary group. According to the information, the Italian Lega, the French RN party of Marine Le Pen, the Flemish Vlaams Belang, the Danish People’s Party and the Czech Freedom and Direct Democracy party voted in favor. The Austrian FPÖ and an Estonian party voted against it.

The German AfD delegation leader Christine Anderson had previously tried to prevent the decision and called for a hearing. In addition, supported by six other AfD MPs in the ID parliamentary group, she submitted a motion to exclude only Krah. Only AfD MP Joachim Kuhs did not support him.

Controversial statements by Krah bring AfD into disrepute among like-minded people

The reason for the motion by ID parliamentary group leader Marco Zanni was the numerous negative headlines that have been made about the AfD in recent weeks. For example, the party leadership banned its own top candidate Krah from appearing on Wednesday after the SS comments. In addition, the 47-year-old from Saxony is under pressure because of the espionage scandal involving an employee and because of his proximity to Russia and China. The number two on the AfD European list, Petr Bystron, will also not be campaigning for the time being following corruption investigations.

The French Rassemblement National had already terminated its cooperation with the AfD before the exclusion process. RN party leader Jordan Bardella said on Tuesday on broadcaster TF1: “I think that the AfD, with whom we have worked in the European Parliament for five years, has crossed lines that are red lines for me.” After the election you will have new allies and will no longer sit on the side of the AfD.

An interview with Krah in the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica” and the “Financial Times” had previously made headlines. In this, the AfD politician was asked about the National Socialist SS and said: “I will never say that everyone who wore an SS uniform was automatically a criminal.” When asked whether the SS were war criminals, he replied: “There were certainly a high percentage of criminals, but not all of them were criminals.” He did not mention that Adolf Hitler’s Schutzstaffel, among other things, guarded and managed the concentration camps and was largely responsible for war crimes.

Note: This article has been updated several times.


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