This content is not available in your region

Thousands protest outside far-right party conference in Germany

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
Thousands protest outside far-right party conference in Germany

<p>Thousands of left-wing protesters have tried to disrupt a conference being held by Germany’s far-right, anti-immigration party.</p> <p>Delegates of Alternative for Germany were given police protection ahead of the event in Cologne. </p> <p>One officer was hurt as police held back protesters from the entrance of the conference. </p> <p>Around 50,000 demonstrators, and 4,000 police officers, are expected over the two-day conference.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Demonstrations against Germany's AfD party <a href="https://t.co/PDFC7gOVU2">https://t.co/PDFC7gOVU2</a></p>— Reuters TV (@ReutersTV) <a href="https://twitter.com/ReutersTV/status/855786720889065473">April 22, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>The deeply divded party is facing crisis talks over its future.</p> <p>AfD’s co-leader Frauke Petry told the conference: “We have, although there aren’t yet majorities at the ballot boxes in Germany, given hope back to millions of German voters that there is a democratic and spiritual-moral change in our home country and we bear a substantial responsibility for that already.”</p> <p>A split has emerged in the party because some want it to tone down its extreme right rhetoric in a bid to boost its chances of gaining power. </p> <p>Ms Petry suffered a crushing blow at the start of the congress when delegates voted down her motion calling for efforts to forge alliances with other parties rather than seek to be a long term opposition force.</p> <p>It comes after all mainstream parties in Germany said they would refuse to work with the AfD in a coalition, ahead of the election this year.</p> <p>However, Ms Petry’s critics deny there is a split  in the party.</p> <p>She has already announced that she will not lead the national election campaign for the party after months of internal power struggles.</p>