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“Unacceptable statements”: the German far-right party AfD was expelled from its group in the European Parliament

Germany’s far-right AfD party was expelled on Thursday from the Identity and Democracy (ID) group in the European Parliament, which includes France’s RN party, after a series of scandals involving one of its leaders, Maximilian Cra.

The decision came two days after Jordan Bardella, the president and head of the National Rally list for June’s European elections, announced the end of the alliance between his party and the AfD.

The exclusion measure affected nine German elected officials, including Maximilian Kra. “The Bureau of Identity and Democracy group in the European Parliament decided today to expel the German delegation of the AfD with immediate effect,” said the Italian League, which represents the main delegation of the far-right group.

“The ID group no longer wants to be associated with incidents related to Maximilian Kra, head of the AfD list in the European elections,” he continues.

An SS man is “not automatically a criminal”

“All delegations were consulted regarding the decision we initiated to exclude the AfD delegation from the ID group,” said Jean-Paul Garraud (RN), president of the French delegation. “This follows unacceptable comments made recently by the head of the list,” whose “remarks, in our opinion, commit the AfD,” he added.

The latest incident involving MEP Maximilian Krach, suspected of having close ties to Russia and China, occurred over the weekend. In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, he believes that an SS man “is not automatically a criminal.”

The AfD banned the 47-year-old lawyer from all campaign meetings on Wednesday, while maintaining his lead on the list for the June 9 elections.

AfD says: “Take note”

On Thursday, Germany’s far-right party said it had “taken note” of the group’s decision, while saying it was “optimistic” about the future. “The AfD will of course strive to form a strong group in the European Parliament with a strengthened delegation,” the party points out, confirming its desire to “cooperate with neighboring parties.”

For several weeks, Maximilian Kra became a disgrace to his party. He is under preliminary investigation on suspicion of Russian and Chinese financing. One of his aides in the European Parliament, Jian Guo, was accused by federal prosecutors of spying for Beijing at the heart of that institution. He was arrested at the end of April.

AfD number two and Bundestag member Petr Bystron also announced on Wednesday that he too was withdrawing from the election campaign, citing family reasons in an interview with a Bavarian radio station.

The ID group, led by Italian Marco Zanni (League), previously brought together 59 MEPs from eight countries. The main delegations are the Italian League (23 elected officials) and the French RN (18).

It is currently the sixth group in the European Parliament, after another family of right-wing nationalists, the Conservatives and Reformists of Europe (CRE), which counts Italian government chief Georgia Meloni among its Fratelli d’Italia. Polls predict the growing power of these forces, which could win about 37% of seats by the end of the elections (compared to 30% currently).

Former National Party president Marine Le Pen and Georgia Meloni have suggested a possible rapprochement following this election, despite deep differences. The merger of ID and CRE will create the second largest political group in Strasbourg after the European People’s Party (EPP, Christian Democratic Party). But such attempts at unification have so far ended in failure.

Source: Le Parisien

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