Far-right European Parliament group expels Germany’s AfD after SS remark

By Thomson Reuters May 23, 2024 | 9:45 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The far-right Identity and Democracy (ID) group in the European Parliament said on Thursday it had decided to expel the Alternative for Germany’s (AfD) delegation, weeks before elections to the assembly.

The decision follows comments made by Maximilian Krah, the AfD’s lead candidate in the elections, to an Italian newspaper at the weekend that the Nazi’s Waffen SS were “not all criminals”.

“The ID Group no longer wants to be associated with the incidents involving Maximilian Krah, head of the AfD list for the European elections,” the ID group said in a statement.

Krah, whose aide has been charged with spying for China, has already had to resign from the AfD’s leadership board and promised not to make any further campaign appearances, although he is still a candidate in the poll.

Far-right parties in the assembly are currently split between the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), whose de facto leader is Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni, and the ID group, spearheaded by Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (RN).

It is the latest blow for Alternative for Germany (AfD) in a chaotic few months. France’s Le Pen abandoned the party for being too toxic a partner, while it has faced adverse court rulings and concern about its links to China and Russia.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Benoit Van Overstraeten; Additional reporting by Madeline Chambers: Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Sharon Singleton)