To the extreme right, no water. “There will be no cooperation with AfD [Alternativa para Alemania], no coalition, not even negotiations ”, stressed this Monday Armin Laschet, candidate of the German conservatives for the chancellery in the elections next September. “They are our declared political adversary,” added the president of the CDU in Berlin. His words reinforce the current position of non-collaboration with the AfD, but they also address the ranks themselves, as Laschet added that he expects all party members to follow that line, “including the candidate from Thuringia.”
The leader of the CDU, Angela Merkel’s party, was referring to the election as a candidate for deputy for the federal state of Thuringia of Hans-Georg Maassen, the controversial former head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), the internal spy service, which was pushed aside and later retired early in 2018 by its boss, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, because of a speech calling the Social Democrats, coalition partners in Merkel’s government, ultra-left, and of “naive” the foreign and security policy of Berlin.
Maassen served three ministers, one from the SPD, one from the CDU and the last from the CSU during his years at the head of the internal spy service, but his statements and the pulse of Merkel’s policy cost him the position. He was also credited with a certain sympathy or soft attitude towards the AfD excesses, which has now made his nomination by the party in Thuringia controversial and has forced Laschet to re-emphasize the position of the German conservatives towards the ultras. A resolution passed at the time by the CDU that rejects any cooperation with that party, which entered Parliament in 2017 and is the first opposition force.
The controversial candidate was relieved in the first instance after questioning a video of neo-Nazis persecution of foreigners during the demonstrations for the murder of a man in Chemnitz, which occurred in August 2018.
In an interview with the Bild newspaper, he suggested that a video showing the far-right attack on a foreigner on the streets of Chemnitz was a forgery. “There is no evidence that the video circulating on the Internet about this alleged attack is authentic,” he said. “There are good reasons to believe that it was a case of selective disinformation,” he added.
Those statements caused a political storm in Berlin and were interpreted as an open rebellion against the Chancellor, who had previously condemned the attacks and had denounced, based on the existence of the video, that a heinous “hunt” had taken place in the streets of Chemnitz. of foreigners ”.
Almost two years later, the former spy chief was elected last Friday as the CDU’s candidate to the Bundestag, news that has been seen by some sectors of the party as a sign of rapprochement with the AfD that the candidate for the chancellery.
The election of Maassen, which was also noted for its criticism of the refugee reception policy, triggered harsh reactions last weekend, also within the conservative bloc of the CDU and CSU, the Bavarian sister party.