Written by 02:28 World

Far-Right E.U. Lawmakers Remove Germany’s AfD Party Before Elections

A far-right group in the European Union’s Parliament announced on Thursday that it had ousted the Alternative for Germany party from its coalition, dealing a severe blow to a key alliance just two weeks before E.U. parliamentary elections.

In a statement on its official X account, the Identity and Democracy Group wrote that it had decided to exclude Alternative for Germany, or AfD, because of comments made by Maximilian Krah, the AfD’s lead candidate in the upcoming elections.

In an interview last week, Mr. Krah appeared to minimize the crimes carried out by the SS, the Nazi paramilitary force that killed millions of people during the Holocaust. “One million soldiers wore the SS uniform,” Mr. Krah said to La Repubblica and The Financial Times in a joint interview. “Can you really say that because someone was an officer in the Waffen-SS they were a criminal? You have to establish individual guilt.”

In its statement, Identity and Democracy wrote that it “no longer wants to be associated with the incidents involving Maximilian Krah, head of the AfD list for the European elections.”

The exclusion of AfD from the group, which includes the League party in Italy and the National Rally party in France, is a sign that domestic troubles for the AfD are starting to spill over into European Union politics.

The fact that Identity and Democracy moved to remove AfD before the elections suggests that other far-right parties in Europe feared the German delegation had become a liability. There are 27 member states that make up the European Union. About 400 million voters are eligible to elect the 705 deputies in the European Parliament. Far-right parties are expected to win a record number of votes.

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Last modified: 25 May 2024
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