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AfD MEPs excluded from right-wing ID group in the European Parliament

The AfD logo is projected onto a curtain at the federal party conference / Photo: Sina Schuldt/dpa
The AfD logo is projected onto a curtain at the federal party conference / Photo: Sina Schuldt/dpa

All AfD MEPs were expelled from the right-wing ID group in the European Parliament following a motion by group leader Marco Zanni.

All AfD MEPs have been excluded from the right-wing ID Group in the European Parliament. A corresponding motion by group leader Marco Zanni has received the necessary support, several group representatives told the German Press Agency in Brussels on Thursday. Previously, statements by AfD MEP and European election candidate Maximilian Krah on the SS, among other things, had caused 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 will be listed.

The exclusion of the AfD MEPs is primarily symbolic, as the Parliament will not meet again until after the European elections in two weeks' time. At that time, the political groups may also be reconstituted.

The exclusion motion was voted on in an internal written procedure. 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.

The German AfD delegation leader Christine Anderson had previously tried to prevent the decision and demanded a hearing. She also tabled a motion, supported by six other AfD MPs in the ID group, to exclude only Krah. Only AfD MP Joachim Kuhs did not support it.

The reason for ID parliamentary group leader Marco Zanni's motion was the numerous negative headlines about the AfD in recent weeks. For example, the party leadership banned its own top candidate Krah from appearing after the SS statements on Wednesday. In addition, the 47-year-old Saxon is under pressure due to the espionage affair surrounding an employee and because of his closeness to Russia and China. The number two on the AfD's European list, Petr Bystron, will also no longer be campaigning for the time being following corruption investigations.

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

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

Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). All rights reserved

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