EventsEventsPodcasts
Loader

Find Us

ADVERTISEMENT

Germany's far-right AfD party expelled from European Parliament group

Maximilian Krah, AfD lead candidate for the European elections in Berlin on Wednesday, April 24, 2024.
Maximilian Krah, AfD lead candidate for the European elections in Berlin on Wednesday, April 24, 2024. Copyright Michael Kappeler/(c) Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten
Copyright Michael Kappeler/(c) Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten
By Angela Skujins with Mared Jones
Published on
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

The move comes as a Greens politician told reporters in Brussels that the EU's far-right parties are a "major risk" to the continent.

ADVERTISEMENT

Nine members from Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party have been expelled from the Identity and Democracy (ID) political group in the European Parliament on Thursday following a request made by the group.

ID confirmed in a statement on social media that the German delegation had received the boot with "immediate effect". 

"The ID Group no longer wants to be associated with the incidents involving Maximilian Krah head of the AfD list for the European Elections," it said. 

AfD spokespersons Alice Weidel and Tino Chrupalla said the party had "taken note" of ID's decision but is "optimistic" about the election ahead. "The AfD will, of course, strive to ensure a powerful group in the European Parliament with an increased delegation," they said.

"In order to have a political impact in Brussels, cooperation with related parties is essential. We are therefore confident that we will have reliable partners at our side in the new legislative period."

Yesterday, the AfD banned Maximilian Krah, its top European election candidate, from campaigning for the upcoming European election. He subsequently stepped down from the leadership role following internal party pressure.

Krah recently copped backlash after he told an Italian newspaper not all members of the Nazis' elite SS unit, which was involved in major war crimes during World War II, were war criminals.

Krah responded by writing on X, formerly Twitter, that "actual and differentiated statements" were being "misused" to hurt the party that right now needed "unity". 

"For this reason, I will refrain from making any further campaign appearances with immediate effect and resign as a member of the federal executive board," he said. 

The 47-year-old was already in hot water after Brussels authorities searched his European Parliament offices in connection with an arrested assistant. 

The scandal comes at an inconvenient time for the party, as the AfD was hoping to make big gains at the European elections in June. 

German media have alleged that Krah had ties to China and Russia. His colleague, AfD's Petr Bystron, last month separately denied allegations in a Czech daily that he may have received money from a pro-Russian network.

AfD's top party board recently said there had been “massive damage to the party in the current election campaign, for which the lead candidate had provided the pretext.”

Greens candidate criticises far-right presence in EU

European Greens' lead candidate Terry Reintke told reporters at the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday that right-wing "extremists", especially the AfD, are Putin's "extended arm in the European Union". 

Terry Reintke for the European Greens (second from left) posing with various political aspirants prior to a debate at the European Parliament in Brussels, Thursday, May 23, 20
Terry Reintke for the European Greens (second from left) posing with various political aspirants prior to a debate at the European Parliament in Brussels, Thursday, May 23, 20AP

This is a "major risk for the European Union," Reintke said. 

"We are very clear that the far-right not only want to destroy the European Union, but our democracy. That is why we will not build majorities together with them and will also try everything we can to have as weak a far-right presence as possible in the next European Parliament."

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Maximilian Krah steps down from AfD leadership role after pressure from EU far-right allies

German police investigate AfD member Petr Bystron for money-laundering

Court maintains far-right AfD's 'suspected extremist' status