The German government’s systematic persecution of right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is designed to lead to a ban of the party, Alternative for Germany (AfD) caucus leader and party chairman Tino Chrupalla told Hungarian daily Magyar Hírlap in an interview.
“This fear [of a ban] is perhaps not entirely unfounded. The escalation of government against our party is gradual and follows a scenario that is largely independent of the behavior of our party and its representatives,” Chrupalla said.
“We must reckon with the fact that the ultimate goal of this escalation may be a ban procedure. A unique fact in Europe is that the [German] domestic intelligence agency is being systematically deployed against a large opposition party. It is not our party but the abuse of government by the government that is a threat to democracy.”
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A German administrative court in Cologne recently ruled in a landmark case that the AfD can be labeled a “suspected threat to democracy.” The decision comes with a number of grave consequences for the party, and for Germany’s democracy. For one, the entire party can now be surveilled by the Office of the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), which means all members and politicians can have their phone calls, emails and web history monitored without having committed any crime. In addition, informants can be planted inside the party. The move is widely seen as an essential stepping stone to banning the party outright, if the government decides to move forward with such a ban.
Chrupalla also said Germany’s leaders are fundamentally opposed to freedom of expression if those opinions also encompasses the right side of the political spectrum.
“Decision-makers no longer want pluralism of opinion in Germany. Disagreements are only possible within the extremely small spectrum of the left mainstream,” he said. “And even then, it can happen to the opponent that he becomes a victim of the so-called cancel culture and is excluded. The efficiency with which counter-opinions are eliminated is frightening. If we do not restore an atmosphere of freedom of expression and tolerance, free democracy will also be lost.”
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Chrupalla said the media also bears part of the blame for stifling opinions different from those of the mainstream.
“Voters hear non-stop in the media that illegal migration is good for our country. They talk about only the Nazis opposed to open borders and multiculturalism. Although the streets are seen every day on the streets as the migration of recent years is detrimental to our country, many citizens prefer to believe in the press rather than their personal experiences,” Chrupalla said.
“This is also due to the fact that dissenting opinions are deprived of social acceptance. Our party promises border controls and the elimination of illegal immigration. We stand for sovereignty, and with these demands we address many voters, especially in East Germany.”