Far-right German chief skeptical of Bannon’s anti-EU push

BERLIN (Reuters) – A pacesetter of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) celebration has poured chilly water on plans by Steve Bannon, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former political strategist, to forge a large populist alliance to undermine the European Union.

FILE PHOTO: Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon speaks throughout a marketing campaign rally for Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore in Midland City, Alabama, U.S., December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman/File Photo

“We’re not in America,” Alexander Gauland, certainly one of two co-leaders of the anti-immigrant celebration, informed the Funke Mediengruppe newspaper chain in an interview revealed on Saturday.

“The pursuits of the anti-establishment events in Europe are fairly divergent,” he added in feedback that amounted to a blunt rebuff to Bannon from certainly one of Europe’s most influential far-right events.

The former Trump strategist final month introduced he had created a Brussels-based political group referred to as The Movement to rally nationalist and populist voters in European Parliament elections subsequent May, with a objective of undermining and paralyzing the bloc.

FILE PHOTO: Alexander Gauland of the Anti-immigration celebration Alternative for Germany (AfD) attends a price range debate on the decrease home of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

But Gauland stated that whereas his co-leader Alice Weidel had met as soon as with Bannon, he noticed no chance of cooperating with him. “Mr Bannon won’t reach forging an alliance of the like-minded for the European elections.”

He stated the AfD solely had shut contacts with Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPO), junior celebration in Austria’s coalition authorities. Former AfD chief Frauke Petry had all the time wished to work with France’s National Front, however that had not labored out.

Gauland stated his celebration was polling at 17 to 20 p.c in latest surveys, and its help might develop past that so long as Chancellor Angela Merkel remained in energy.

The celebration received 12.6 p.c of the vote in nationwide elections final September, making it the third largest celebration and catapulting it into the German parliament for the primary time.

Gauland stated the AfD wanted to develop stronger, however he anticipated it to be able to tackle a governing function within the medium-term.

Political specialists say the celebration might turn out to be the strongest celebration within the japanese German states of Saxony and Brandenburg in regional elections subsequent 12 months, which is able to increase the query of whether or not mainstream events will reverse course and conform to type coalitions with it.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

Original article http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/worldNews/~3/nV9JOGHZQEA/far-right-german-leader-skeptical-of-bannons-anti-eu-push-idUSKBN1KW014

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