Could the AfD and National Rally end alliance? Le Pen, Weidel feud isn’t over

French far-right National Rally party leader Marine Le Pen arrives for a New Year's speech to the media in Paris, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
By Dénes Albert
4 Min Read

Although the two right-wing European leaders held a meeting to smooth over their differences last week, there are reportedly still conflicts over what Alternative for Germany (AfD) plans in terms of “remigration.”

A letter from Alice Weidel to Marine Le Pen appears not to have entirely convinced the leader of France’s National Rally in parliament as to AfD’s stance on the issue of migration. Le Pen also appeared to be irked that the contents of the letter were released to the press before she had a chance to read it herself.

“Many questions remain unanswered,” she said in Paris on Wednesday this week, adding, “I didn’t particularly like finding out the content of the letter from the press before I received it.”

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As Remix News reported this week, the differences between the two parties appeared to have been smoothed over.

“The meeting with caucus leader Marine Le Pen and party president Jordan Bardella was very important and significant for our common cooperation and for the upcoming European elections,” Weidel told the German news portal Junge Freiheit.

On her social media page, Weidel wrote: “We have discussed a number of policy issues and found that we are looking for the same solutions to the main problems of our time.”

However, Le Pen still appears to take issue with the AfD’s plans on “remigration,” with the AfD denying allegations that the party plans to deport German citizens with a foreign background — an allegation from German state-funded media outlet Correctiv, which published a story claiming secret plans were drawn up during a meeting outside Potsdam. AfD politicians deny the allegations.

However, Le Pen says she rejects the term “remigration,” which is used by French right-wing politician Éric Zemmour as part of his party’s plan for mass deportations. Le Pen has softened her stance on a range of issues, including abortion, in recent years, and she is attempting to paint her party as “moderate.”

Weidel’s letter was published in German newspaper Junge Freiheit, where she wrote: “As already discussed in our conversation, you are certainly no stranger to journalistic campaigns against parties that do not conform to the published opinion of the capital’s press. In connection with a private event on Nov. 25, 2023, in Potsdam, false facts have been and continue to be alleged.”

Any conflict between the AfD and the National Rally has implications for the two parties’ alliance at the European level, where they both belong to Identity and Democracy (ID) within the EU parliament. Le Pen has hinted that she is reevaluating her membership in ID in light of the AfD’s stance on “remigration.”

In Weidel’s letter, she pointed out that “different meanings of terms or translations in the respective languages” made it difficult to explain some things, which applies to the term “remigration.”

“For example, the common English word for deportation ‘deportation’ is associated with violence and coercion in German, and could never be used in this context.” The same applies to the German word “remigration,” Weidel stated. In German, it “merely means the application of existing laws,” the AfD leader wrote.

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