Scholz issues warning about 'far-right' AfD 'demolition squad'
Chancellor Scholz's strong condemnation of the Alternative for Germany party coincided with the party's surging popularity.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz delivered a scathing critique on Wednesday, denouncing the far-right AfD as a detrimental force to Germany, emphasizing that the nationalist policies they promote could jeopardize the nation's economic well-being
Scholz's strong condemnation of the Alternative for Germany party coincided with the party's surging popularity, as indicated by recent opinion polls that place it at 22 percent, surpassing the chancellor's center-left SPD, which stands at 16 percent.
"Most citizens know that the self-called 'Alternative' is, in reality, a demolition commando -- a demolition squad for our country," Scholz told parliament at the start of budget debate week, while also expressing concern about the AfD's advocacy for a return to nationalism.
"Our prosperity is most tightly linked with the European Union," said Scholz.
"And that's why the calls for new barriers between the member states, for a dismantling of the EU, and for a radical dismantling of the welfare state is nothing but wanton destruction of prosperity," he further said.
Scholz called upon the CDU/CSU opposition conservatives, led by former Chancellor Angela Merkel, to collaborate with his coalition in a "Germany pact" aimed at accelerating the nation's progress towards a digital, efficient, and sustainable future.
"Only together can we shed off the mildew of bureaucracy, risk averseness and despondency that has set over our country over the years," he said.
Scholz's coalition has formulated proposals to reduce bureaucratic hurdles and allocate substantial funding towards the expansion of renewable energy infrastructure. Additionally, they intend to alleviate the tax burden, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Germany is facing a pressing need for an economic uplift following its descent into a winter recession from which the export powerhouse is grappling to recover.
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine, persistent inflation, and elevated energy costs have collectively dampened demand while necessitating significant expenditures from the government's funds.
According to the International Monetary Fund, Germany is the sole major advanced economy anticipated to contract in 2023.
On August 14, German sources told The Telegraph that the Bundestag is contemplating banning the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD).
In a speech to German domestic intelligence, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: "We all have it in our hands to put those who despise our democracy in their place."
His statements were linked to support for a ban after Haldenwang, the domestic spy chief, warned about increasing extremism in the party.
On his part, Haldenwang said: "We see a considerable number of protagonists in this party that spread hate against all types of minorities here in Germany."
Germany's famous Der Spiegel news magazine voiced its take on the matter by publishing the headline: "Ban the enemies of the constitution!"
"The AfD has become more and more radicalized. It’s time to defend democracy with better weapons," Der Spiegel said.