In recent weeks, one of the main issues on Germany’s agenda has been the Alternative for Germany party (Alternative für Deutschland, AfD).
Mass demonstrations against the “far right”, “racism” and “xenophobia” were organised in many cities across the country. The protests were attended and supported by government parties and officials.
Parallel to the demonstrations, the “AfD threat” has been the topic of newspaper headlines and TV programmes. Even, the closure of the Party is being discussed.
“Aydınlık Europe”, Turkish daily newspaper “Aydınlık”s supplementary in Europe, conducted an interview with Dr Maximilian Krah, member of the Federal Executive Board of the AfD, a member of the European Parliament and leading candidate for the AfD in the 2024 European Parliament elections.
In the interview, Krah spoke about the Palestine-Israel war, Europe-Russia relations, policy of leaders in Europe and their relations with the US.
Translated from Turkish into English by UWI.
The most important development in international politics of 2023 have been the Palestine-Israel and the Russia-Ukraine wars. How do you evaluate these?
I generally interpret wars as expressions of crisis and weakness. An unsteady order leads to war and chaos. The international order has weakened and is facing profound changes.
The West, by controlling the “heartland” in Ukraine, is seeking to push Russia out of Europe. It was foreseeable that Russia would not accept this, and it would lead to a war. This conflict is disastrous, especially for Germany, because it damaged our traditionally good relations with Russia and cut off our energy imports.
The war in Gaza also harbors the risk of a new refugee influx to Europe and destabilization. Germany and Europe have failed to prevent or limit these wars, and worse, the German government and the EU have thoughtlessly taken sides and lost the opportunity of assuming a peacemaker role.
How was 2023 for Europe? What were the consequences of the sanctions on Russia?
Europe lost in 2023. This is the result of bad policies of Brussels and Berlin. Germany and the EU are allowing themselves to be dragged into conflicts of the US and paying the price: Sanctions on Russia are causing more harm to us than to the Russians. The destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline jeopardizes the competitiveness of the German industry, and if an economic war with China is added to this, Germany stands to lose its status as an “industrial center”. Politicians in power in Brussels and Berlin are not defending our own interests; they are acting as representatives of Washington’s interests. The left-liberal Politico had this to say about Ursula von der Leyen: “Europe’s American president”.
The leading European countries sided with the US on the mentioned political issues. What were the consequences of this?
The eagerness of European elites to side with US interests comes of that they identify more with the US than with their own nations. European center-left politicians lack patriotism and the ability to act independently of the US. When Joe Biden said, “America is back to lead the world” they were relieved. The US acts as if it is working for a global wellness, and European politicians are happy with believing in it. So they cannot recognize that everything here is at the expense of Europe and revolves around power and economic interests of the US.
The rise of the right is a hot topic in Europe. How to interpret the rise and even the coming to power of right-wing parties?
Only the political right, people like me, makes the criticisms I mentioned. As the consequences of slavery become clearer, more and more people are becoming ready to accept our arguments. One thing must be clarified: foreign policy determines domestic policy choices. As long as we are forced into rubbish conflicts with Russia and have to watch our so-called “allies” blow up the Nord Stream pipeline, we cannot implement an effective domestic industrial policy. Domestic crises – economic crises, migration crises, but also this terrible LGBTQ wave – are becoming more evident, which is good because this is a prerequisite to solve the problem.
What is your forecast for 2024? Europe and the world…
We enter 2024 with great optimism. The European elections are the first national elections since 2021 and like a test for the 2025 Federal Assembly elections. We aim to become at least the strongest second force with a share of over 20% surpassing all ruling parties. The AfD will become the strongest party in Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg. Thus, AfD will be a strong and influential political movement in 2024 and Germany will change politically.
Across the EU, right-wing parties will create a revolutionary impact in the political arena. For instance, I expect the National Rally (Rassemblement National) in France and Freedom Party of Austria (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs) in Austria to become powerful parties in elections. This will increase the pressure on governments to change their policies.
The awakening of the global South and the end of Western hegemony
The world is changing in a fundamental way. The defining trend in the coming years is the awakening of the Global South. Western hegemony ended, and the future world is multipolar. This will be a world where broad regions coexist based on shared geography, history, culture and interests. The US will lose its global superpower status, and various major regions will defend themselves against its hegemony.
The current elites in Europe lack the courage and vision to transform Europe into such a major region and establish it as a pole in this future world. Türkiye, on the other hand, is much more visionary and is already shaping the political and economic structures of the future in Central Asia.