Troublemakers in AfD want to stop meeting with Le Pen
Frauke Petry, chairwoman of the German AfD party, plans a public meeting with French Front National (FN) leader Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini from the Italian Lega Nord (LN) in the German city of Koblenz. AfD MEP Marcus Pretzell will speak at the public event on January 21. But not everyone in the AfD is happy about the meeting.
Published: January 11, 2017, 8:08 pm
While the vast majority of AfD party members and MPs from different German regional parliaments welcome the event, some functionaries of the transatlanticist wing are attacking Petry for the planned event in Koblenz.
The leaders of the regional organizations Berlin and Brandenburg, Georg Pazderski and Alexander Gauland, expressed their discontent with Petry’s plan in a comment to German mainstream media. Both called the FN a “socialist party” and demanded more distance from Le Pen’s party.
This is not a new conflict within the AfD. Pazderski is a former colonel in the German Bundeswehr who takes an open pro-NATO position. Gauland, a former high ranking CDU member, has opposed NATO criticism in the party several times.
In an interview he said that “Bismarck today would never leave NATO”, which triggered sharp criticism against him by many party members. He also stated that the AfD should get into contact with Marine Le Pen’s competitor François Fillon from the conservative party, Les Républicains. Both Le Pen and Fillon are running for France’s presidency this year.
The sovereignist wing of the AfD is seeking a close alliance with other European sovereignist parties such as FN, LN and FPÖ.
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