He’s been a thorn in the European Union’s side for years, but now one fiercely Eurosceptic MEP is broadening his horizons.
Nigel Farage, former leader of anti-EU party UKIP and key architect of Brexit, is in Berlin today (Friday, September 8) to help his fellow populists.
He will speak at a rally for Alternative for Germany (AfD), a relatively new anti-immigration party that has made recent strides in federal elections. It is led by duo Alexander Gauland, 76, and Alice Weidel, 38 and is expected to get between seven and 11 percent of the vote, according to polls.
The right-wing AfD has gained support by slamming Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to open the borders to refugees and is set to enter the national parliament for the first time after the September 24 election.
What the party stands for on …
… on Europe?
AfD, or Alternative für Deutschland in German, was founded as a Eurosceptic party, but has since developed to oppose immigration too.
It wants to preserve the ‘sovereign democratic state’ and says if the European Union cannot be reformed, Germany should leave.
It also wants Germany to withdraw from the Euro single currency.
The flood of refugees into Germany in 2015 put immigration firmly under the spotlight and arguably was the reason for AfD’s success in regional elections.
Its manifesto refers to ‘huge migrationary pressure’ from Africa and wanting to hand future generations ‘a country that is still recognisable as Germany’.
It has called for Germany’s borders to be closed immediately to end ‘unregulated mass immigration of mainly unskilled workers’.
The party says many Muslims live correctly but it fears the development of ‘parallel Islamic societies’ in which Sharia law is practiced.
It says people should be free to ‘rationally criticise religion’ without it being called Islamophobia or racism.
AfD also wants to have a ban on the Islamic face veil, along the lines of the one already in practice in France.
It claims Germany’s security situation is becoming more and more dramatic and that the age of imprisonment should be dropped to 12.
The party also wants to deport foreigners who are convicted of a crime.
… society and family?
AfD wants to promote a child-friendly society and says funding should be cut to those who promote one-parent families.
Children need a father and mother, says its manifesto.
It also has an anti-abortion stance, saying every unborn child has a right to life.