Far-right AfD launches EU election campaign amid turmoil

Far-right AfD launches EU election campaign amid turmoil

Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) launched its European Parliament election campaign in Donaueschingen, seeking to regain momentum in the face of recent controversies.

The event coincided with a rival Social Democratic Party (SPD) gathering led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Absence of Krah noticeable

Despite setbacks, including the absence of lead candidate Maximilian Krah due to his employee's arrest on espionage charges linked to China, AfD members appeared buoyant.

Party leaders expressed gratitude to Krah for his contributions and accused opponents of employing undemocratic tactics to undermine AfD's efforts.

Donaueschingen welcomed the delegates with an anti-right protest rally, featuring slogans such as "Real women hate AfD" and "We want it colorful not brown," a reference to the Nazi era's association with the colour brown from the SA's 'brown shirts'.

AfD's campaign launch follows a decline in public support, exacerbated by recent events.

An assistant to lead candidate Maximilian Krah was arrested on espionage charges, further complicating the party's position.

Allegations surfaced that another prominent figure, Petr Bystron, received funds from a website connected to the Kremlin.

Despite these challenges, AfD's co-leader Tino Chrupalla remained resolute, emphasizing the party's core message against migration and criticizing the ruling coalition's policies.

The event notably targeted the Greens, particularly Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, drawing enthusiastic responses from attendees eager to rally behind AfD's nationalist platform.