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AfD party leaders. Photo supplied
Augsburg

AfD decides on foundation during party congress in Augsburg

At its federal party convention in Augsburg, Germany the anti-immigration AfD party decided to recognize the Desiderius Erasmus Foundation (DES) as its only party foundation. The delegates had discussed the matter in a lively and emotionally charged debate. In the end, 65 percent voted in favor of the party foundation.

Published: July 1, 2018, 11:16 am

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    At the same time, delegates in general rejected a party-based foundation, since in their view the policies of the established parties would be copied. The credibility of the AfD would suffer, if they would rely on government funding, many argued.

    Others favored a membership decision because the issue was of far-reaching importance to the party. Earlier, in her speech, DES chair Erika Steinbach, appealed to the delegates to vote in favor of her concept in order to compete with other political groupings. “In the fight against Goliath, we must not take away the slingshot from David,” she said. Germany is also “a case for a psychiatrist, and we have to be a therapist” she argued.

    Steinbach,  former CSU member of the Bundestag, significantly managed to win over the majority in the hall and her speech was received with standing applause.

    “This is a good result, a result of reason.” She will now do everything to ensure that there is no permanent dispute with the defeated Stresemann Foundation. “The AfD is now indispensable as the strongest opposition,” she added.

    The AfD has meanwhile decided to close its programmatic gap on the issues of social and especially pension funding. The federal party congress in Augsburg voted on Saturday without lengthy debate to set a corresponding thematic focus at a party congress in the coming year.

    Björn Höcke had pointed out in his explanatory statement that in his opinion the combination of identity and solidarity would be the best way in which to become a real party for the voters.

    Party leader Joerg Meuthen said: “I think it is careless, to say the least, to transfer to a state the entire pension, which does not have the migration crisis under control and a haphazard energy turnaround to answer for. ”

    Establishment media representatives reported on “inner-party conflict”, but Meuthen said: “If you are looking for disunity, you should turn to the CDU and CSU. We argue objectively about political solutions, because there is no opinion dictated from above – in this we are an alternative. ”

    Meuthen emphasized that the AfD was not a “neoliberal or vulgar capitalist” party but a social and at the same time liberal party. He called for a fundamental change in the tax and levy system and criticized the one-sided burden on labour. Instead, capital income would have to be taxed more heavily. Otherwise, “the class society will continue to become cemented,” said Meuthen.

    He also predicted the near end of multikulti, which he described as the “fundamental ideological error of the 21st century.”

    At one point, Meuthen ironically said he agreed with Angela Merkel: “We need allies in Europe.” But, to the applause of the delegates, he said these allies were not EU chief Juncker or French president Macron, but Austrian, Italian and Hungarian allies “Strache, Kurz, Salvini and especially Victor Orban”.

    The approximately 500 delegates also voted in favour of a resolution against diesel driving bans and EU sanctions against Syria without substantive debate.

    AfD chief Alexander Gauland said in his speech: “Merkel has to go. But not only her. Here a whole apparatus, a whole system must go. And the Union must leave the government.”

    Merkel has isolated Germany internationally, he said. “The last German Prime Minister, who produced such an enemy constellation, …” After a rhetorical pause and the applause in the hall, Gauland continued: “I have not compared her to anyone!”

    Migration is the fate of Europe Gauland continued. While a ruined country can be rebuilt. “a population exchange is irreversible, we have to prevent it”. The fight against globalist forces that want to dissolve nations, is of prime importance. “Our fight is purely defensive, because we are only concerned with the preservation of our way of life for our children and grandchildren.”

    Germany is a nation, not a settlement area, Gauland explained. “Descent and homeland are  human rights.”

    Some 5 000 people protested in Augsburg against the party congress, including an alliance of politicians from the SPD, the Left Party and Greens, as well as unions and left-wing extremists.

    The Green Party politician and Deputy Bundestag President Claudia Roth participated in the protests against the AfD. Green MP’s called the Congress of the AfD in the Augsburg exhibition hall an “attack on the fundamental values of our democracy”. The AfD was “pure racism” and a “sexist flashback” they complained.

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