Germany’s AfD to lead new right-wing faction in the European Parliament

Over 30 MEPs from seven countries led by Germany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD) party will likely form a new right-wing group in the European Parliament, news and opinion portal Mandiner reports

It is understood the group will be named “The Sovereignists” and could include fringe nationalist parties from across the bloc, including SOS Romania, SeAcabo La Fiesta (The Party is Over) from Spain, Greece’s Patrior Democratic Movement, the Confederation Liberty and Independence from Poland, Slovakia’s Republican Movement, and Hungary’s Our Homeland Movement.

The new group will therefore have a total of 32 members from seven countries, which meets the criteria for setting up a political group of at least 23 members from at least seven Member States.

This will give political parties within the group more budgetary support and more say than if they were to remain independent.

However, the new grouping will further fragment the right wing in the European Parliament, representing the third right-wing faction alongside the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and Identity and Democracy (ID).

In May, the AfD was expelled from Identity and Democracy after remarks made by its European parliamentary list leader Maximilian Krah in an Italian newspaper outraged several major players in the grouping, not least French firebrand nationalist Marine Le Pen.

Krah contested the assumption put by Italian left-wing newspaper La Repubblica that all members of the Nazi SS were criminals, suggesting the historical evidence was far more nuanced. 

János Árgyelán, deputy secretary general of Hungary’s Our Homeland Movement, confirmed the party was “in the middle of negotiations” with the AfD, without giving further details.

Le Pen, a leading politician of ID’s strongest party, the French National Rally, distanced herself from Krah and said the AfD is being held hostage by radicals.

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