The National Rally distances itself from the AfD, the German far right

Two weeks before the election, the RN announces that it will no longer sit with its German ally. A decision which follows the controversial remarks of the head of the AfD list on the SS, the Nazi paramilitary organization.



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Jordan Bardella at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, September 2019. (ALEXANDRE MARCHI / MAXPPP)

The National Rally (RN) announced Tuesday May 21 that, when the groups reform after June 9, it will refuse to team up with its now ex-ally the AfD. In the European Parliament, the deputies of the RN and theAlternative for Germany (the AfD) nevertheless sit in the same political group, called Identity and Democracy, which was born in 2019 following the rise of eurosceptic and nationalist parties. But when the National Rally takes care to smooth out its image, the AfD for its part does not hesitate to increase provocations.

What led to the break were the revisionist remarks made by the head of the AfD list Maximilian Krah, who announced this Wednesday, May 22 on his X account that he was withdrew from the electoral campaign for European elections. In an interview with La Repubblica and at Financial Times published Saturday May 18, Maximilian Krah mentioned members of the SS, the Nazi paramilitary organization. Not everyone has to be “automatically“considered”like (criminals), he said. Among them, “there were also many farmers“. Comments shocking enough for the RN to distance itself.

At the end of April, a former party collaborator was arrested in Dresden on suspicion of spying for Beijing. Another figure in the party, the boss of its radical wing, was fined for using a slogan from the SA, the paramilitary militia of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Party, in a meeting. All this after the affair of the secret meeting in November, organized between AfD executives and neo-Nazis to discuss a project of “remigration“, that is to say the expulsion of two million foreigners. The RN never obtained the clarifications it had requested. There was also no question of taking the risk of being splashed by this scandal.

By dissociating itself from the AfD, the RN is also making a political calculation. He obviously hopes to escape the sanitary cordon to which his group is subject which prevents him from occupying positions of power in Strasbourg. Except that we do not yet know with whom he could form an alliance to replace the AfD. Perhaps with Viktor Orban’s Fidesz, which has been looking for a host family since its ouster from the European People’s Party in 2021 and which it has been courting for a long time. Except that the Hungarians will perhaps be more keen to join the other group of nationalist rights that Giorgia Meloni hopes to grow further to form a majority in Parliament. Not sure, however, that she agrees to include the RN. The June 9 election did not take place, but the major maneuvers have already begun.

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