Friday, September 24

The most radical wing of the AfD imposes a tough program against Europe and refugees

Correspondent in Berlin



The electoral program of Alternative for Germany (AfD), the anti-European and anti-immigration party that has held a national congress this weekend with about 600 delegates attending, will include points that harden the position of the political party on refugees. The most prominent is the rejection of family reunification, a demand from the leader of the most radical wing, Björn Höcke, who will eventually figure in the final draft of the show. The main motion of the party leadership had foreseen the wording of the paragraph in this regard as: “Family reunification with persons recognized by documentation will only take place under strict conditions.” After a controversial debate during the congress, the paragraph appears as: “Rejection of any type of family reunification for refugees”, despite the fact that several delegates argued in their interventions that the prohibition of family reunification is illegal. He wanted “to remind you that we are not moving here in the legal sphere, but in the political sphere,” Höcke told the plenary yesterday. The leader of the Thuringian parliamentary and state group added: “It is just a question of giving a political signal.” This message can be “perceived and appreciated from the outside by our voters.”

Unlike the previous congresses of the party, in which it always remained in the background, Höcke has repeatedly addressed the Dresden plenary and he has succeeded in imposing, one after another, his suggestions for the electoral program. Another example is your invitation to examine the possibilities of liberalizing the gun law. “In particular, the now virtually no longer issued gun license, which allows particularly vulnerable people to carry sharp weapons in public, should be issued more easily than before if there is evidence of danger.” This request had been rejected by a narrow majority but was subsequently referred for consideration to a party committee dealing with the internal security program. Hans-Thomas Tillschneider, regional MP for Saxony-Anhalt, reported that he knew several AfD MPs who applied for a weapons license and were denied. “And here you go, who is much more in danger than the general public from attacks on life and their safety than an AfD member of parliament?” Added Bundestag member Götz Frömming in his speech, adding that “There are no quick solutions” and he warned that “if this demand ends up being part of the electoral program, the only effect will be to reproach us for the AfD wants to arm itself.”

The electoral program resulting from this party congress in Dresden finally contains a clear rejection of the EU and a commitment to the traditions of German military history, much to Höcke’s taste and with which the AfD hopes to attract voters. ‘The Bundeswehr must once again maintain a strong esprit de corps, its German traditions and values. The virtues of the soldier are honor, loyalty, companionship, and bravery. The Bundeswehr must revive the best traditions of German military history as well as help to manifest military attitudes and virtues, also in public. The songs and military customs are part of it, ”says the paragraph on the AfD vision of the German army.

Höcke has also succeeded in enforcing the unqualified inclusion of the demand for Germany to leave the EU, in terms far harsher than those advocated by AfD co-chair Jörg Meuthen. «We consider the departure of Germany from the European Union necessary and the establishment of a new economic and European interest group “, reads the program on Europe, although Meuthen, who is a member of the European Parliament and therefore receives his salary as an MEP, spoke out against it, arguing that” politics it is the art of the possible.

These concessions to the more radical wing are undoubtedly the price paid by the leadership for being able to offer an image of party unity, in which factions and infighting often hinder any progress. The co-president of AfD, Tino Chrupalla, has assured in his closing speech that this congress “will write history” because it has contained the seed of a “resurgence of Germany.” Chrupalla has called for “abandoning the mentality of factions” and devoting all the energies of the party to an electoral campaign of unity. “The internal struggles of the last months do nothing but benefit our adversaries,” he said, “and it is better to offer a profile of unity, courage and determination.” If today there were elections in Germany, AfD would get roughly 10% of the votesBut before the September generals there are several decisive regional events, such as the one in Saxony Anhalt in June, in which it may even be the most voted party.

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