Marine Le Pen breaks with her German allies in the AfD on the eve of the start of the electoral campaign for the European elections on June 9. The decision of the National Rally (RN, for its acronym in French), advanced by the French newspaper Release and confirmed by several French media comes as a result of statements made over the weekend by Maximilian Krah, the top candidate to the Europeans of the German far-right party.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper The Republic, Krah said, among other things, that he would never say “that anyone who wore an SS uniform was directly a criminal.” “You have to assess the faults individually. By the end of the war, there were almost a million SS. Günter Grass was also in the Waffen-SS. My wife’s relatives were Germans who lived in Hungary, they had to choose between enlisting in the Army of that country or the SS. If they had enlisted in the Hungarian Army as Germans, it would have been a death sentence. Therefore, they enlisted in the SS,” Krah said.

The president of the French far-right party, Jordan Bardella, who heads the RN list in the elections, has “decided not to sit anymore” with the deputies of the Alternative for Germany (Afd, for its acronym in German) in the EU Parliament, as his campaign manager, Alexandre Loubet, explained to AFP. “We had frank conversations” with the AfD, Loubet said. “The lessons were not learned, so we assumed the consequences,” he added, referring to the latest episode involving his most problematic partner in view of the European elections.

The League, the party of Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, has also joined the decision. In a brief note, the party has communicated that, regarding the future formation of the Identity and Democracy (ID) group in the European Parliament, “as always, Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen are perfectly aligned and in agreement.”

“Among the 900,000 SS there were also many peasants: without a doubt, there was a high percentage of criminals, but not all of them were. I will never say that whoever wore an SS uniform was directly a criminal,” Krah said in the interview with the Italian newspaper, in which he was also asked about the other controversies in which he has been involved in recent weeks. His parliamentary assistant in the European Parliament was arrested at the end of April in Germany accused of spying for China. And Krah himself appears in an investigation by the Belgian authorities for alleged payments received from Russia, something that he again denied in statements to the Italian newspaper.

One scandal after another

Added to these investigations is the scandal caused by the revelation in January of a “remigration plan,” that is, mass deportation of both foreign and German citizens, supposedly backed by party members. The German investigative media Correctiv then published that in November there had been a secret meeting between representatives of the AfD and members of the neo-Nazi nebula to discuss this large-scale expulsion project of immigrants and Germans of foreign origin. After the revelations, massive demonstrations of rejection took place in several cities in Germany.

Even so, it is not clear that the controversies and scandals of recent months will influence the results of the ultra formation in the June 9 vote, although the polls have recorded a drop in support to 15 percent for Nacional level. But the departure of the AfD from the ID group – to which, along with the RN and the League, the Dutch Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom also belongs – could affect the balance in the future configuration of the European Parliament.


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