“Election Arena 2024 Europe”: The AfD’s shocking EU dedication and hair-raising theses from the viewers | EUROtoday

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SSeldom has an election broadcast triggered such a stir prematurely. For the “Election Arena 2024 Europe”, the WDR had wished to ask seven main celebration candidates. Unlike within the ZDF counterpart “How are you, Europe?”, nonetheless, the editorial group didn’t embrace a consultant of the Sahra Wagenknecht alliance.

The younger celebration took authorized motion in opposition to this. The Cologne Administrative Court dominated in favor of the broadcaster, which was allowed to decide on its contributors “at its own discretion.” The BSW then lodged an enchantment with the Higher Administrative Court in Münster – and was profitable on Wednesday.

“The WDR has thus unwittingly enabled us to have the best election campaign PR in recent party history,” wrote Fabio De Masi triumphantly on X. On Thursday, the previous Left Party politician discovered himself in a city corridor format in Erfurt alongside Katarina Barley (SPD), Manfred Weber (CSU) and Daniel Caspary from the CDU. Also current had been Terry Reintke (Greens), Martin Schirdewan (Left Party) and FDP politician Marie-Agens Strack-Zimmermann.

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The first 4 of the eight candidates (from left to proper): Terry Reintke (Greens), Marie-Agens Strack-Zimmermann (FDP), Manfred Weber (CSU) and René Aust (AfD)

Source: WDR/Screenshot WELT

Since the AfD's high candidates Maximilian Krah and Petr Bystron have largely disappeared from the election marketing campaign as a consequence of alleged Russian connections, René Aust stood for the right-wing populists.

The AfD needs to extend the strain for deportation by denying vacationer visas

The program, hosted by Ellen Ehni and Gunnar Breske, initially centered on migration. One viewer took up Olaf Scholz's current proposal to additionally deport folks to Afghanistan and Syria sooner or later. Anyone who abuses the suitable of hospitality has forfeited their proper to help and have to be deported, mentioned Manfred Weber, with out particularly addressing the controversy surrounding the 2 international locations.

Every week in the past, a police officer was stabbed to dying by an Afghan in Mannheim. Since then, deportations to the nation have been publicly mentioned.

René Aust advocated sanctioning international locations that don’t take again their residents who’ve dedicated crimes on this nation. One risk is to threaten to refuse to difficulty them vacationer visas. “You can imagine how great the pressure from the cultural and economic elites will be on the political elites to act differently,” defined the AfD politician.

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Ellen Ehni referred to as him the “man with a beard from the second row” – he launched himself as Steven Büchner and requested AfD man Aust about deportations

Source: WDR/Screenshot WELT

Aust not solely used his look to current himself as extra severe than Maximilian Krah, for instance, but additionally utterly reinterpreted the AfD's self-image. “We are a party for all German citizens – regardless of their religion, regardless of other social backgrounds,” he mentioned, expressing the AfD's declare to variety. That is why his celebration needs to guard those that are “currently threatened and affected by this anti-Semitic agitation.”

Aust additionally didn’t need to hear something a couple of doable exit of Germany from the EU. “We stand by the internal market – and that will remain the case,” he harassed. It was a “great achievement” to have the ability to import and export merchandise duty-free all through Europe. Only Weber was offended by Aust's “nice presentation” and recalled the “radical core” of his celebration.

Martin Schirdewan was requested to touch upon the widespread concern about inflation, particularly amongst younger folks. The thought of ​​a “kebab price cap” was “very exciting,” mentioned the Left Party politician, “because there is a serious problem behind it.” The prices of lease, vitality and meals have gotten “increasingly unaffordable” for many individuals.

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The drawback have to be addressed by way of redistribution. His celebration is looking for the surplus earnings of huge meals corporations to be taxed at 90 % so as to have the ability to set a worth cap on primary foodstuffs. BSW politician Fabio De Masi agreed along with his former celebration colleague.

In sectors with “very high market power,” “extra profits” have to be skimmed off. “We need selective price caps,” demanded the BSW politician. “Not for kebabs, though,” he added, however for vitality costs, for instance.

The drawback with the viewers

The format's biggest weak spot was that neither the moderators nor the candidates felt compelled to contradict the viewers's generally outrageous theories. The enchantment of the format lies within the participation of residents, however this additionally means coping with seemingly inappropriate verbal contributions.

One viewer feared a doable reinstatement of conscription, which he equated with Germany getting into the battle in Ukraine. Can you “really reconcile it with your conscience” to “conscript young people and send them away as cannon fodder?” he requested the group, as if this had already been determined.

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In the second spherical, audio system (from left to proper): Martin Schirdewan (Left), Fabio De Masi (BSW), Katarina Barley (SPD) and Daniel Caspary (CDU)

Source: WDR/Screenshot WELT

Another viewer requested the way it may very well be that weapons are nonetheless being equipped to the “regime in Israel,” which “launched an attack” and is now bombing camps.

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Schirdewan expressed his solidarity with Israel and Ukraine, however spoke out in opposition to arms deliveries to each international locations. De Masi referred to the “history” of the Russian invasion, based on which the “perspective of Ukraine joining NATO” performed a task “in this escalation dynamic”.

Barley, then again, defended the help of Ukraine, however was extra crucial of Israel. The certainty of being the “safe haven for Jews” was “deeply shaken” on October 7, 2023. However, Israel “vehemently overreacted” and thereby did precisely “what Hamas wanted,” the SPD politician mentioned. “They are defending themselves, but in my view they are going too far,” she affirmed. “But we must also stand by Israel. I am also firmly convinced of that.”