The upcoming European elections will be used to unite the far-right parties and the populists across the continent. So said Jörg Meuthen, the co-leader of Germany’s far-right AfD party.
In an interview with Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Meuthen said the creation of a new parliamentary group in the European Parliament will require patience, lots of meetings and building trusts.
“We have to be in contact with parties from several nations,” he explained. “That has been going on for some time and there have been many good talks and we will talk to other countries soon. What everyone is asking, of course, is how we will bring everyone together. Building trust is what has to be done and that happens at the personal level. And you have to be willing to compromise.”
DW also asked about US President Donald Trump‘s former adviser Steve Bannon, who has been touring Europe (except for Germany) with a similar goal of bringing together populist parties.
“I don’t know if Mr. Bannon is avoiding Germany,” said Meuthen. “As far as I know, he has spoken to [AfD politicians] Alice Weidel and Beatrix von Storch. It’s not that long ago that he called me. But I do not think that Mr. Bannon will play a significant role in creating a parliamentary group or bringing together parties that others would call right-wing populists. We Europeans can do that fine on our own. If he starts a foundation that runs like a think tank, then that could be of interest to us as a place to stay in touch. But Mr. Bannon certainly will not play a role in the European elections.”
As for the main issues in the European elections, Meuthen listed migration at the top of the list, followed by “more direct democracy” and the common currency.
“An economic boom is coming to an end. I assume that in six months, or a year at the latest, there will be a clear trend toward negative development. And then the drawbacks will be much clearer, as they already are for the experts. We have to do something about that.”