In Germany, the far-right AfD party relies on the energy crisis and inflation to try to rebound

Anti-euro when founded in 2013, became anti-immigration and anti-Islam thanks to the refugee crisis, in 2015-2016, then anti-masks and anti-vaccines at the height of the Covid-19 epidemic , in 2020-2021, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has once again changed priorities: on Saturday, October 8, it is on behalf of the “energy security” and of the “fighting inflation” that his supporters met on the vast lawn that separates the Reichstag from the chancellery, in the heart of Berlin.

A year after its disappointing result in the legislative elections in September 2021 (10.3%, 2.3 points less than in 2017), the AfD intended to make this rally a show of strength. In total, the police counted just over 10,000 participants. Four times less, of course, than at the August 2020 demonstration against anti-Covid restrictions, at the end of which a few hundred far-right activists had tried to force their way into the Reichstag. But still twice as much as the last time the AfD called a protest against Angela Merkel’s migration policy in Berlin, in May 2018.

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Basically, the few party officials who spoke on Saturday just repeated what they had been saying for weeks, namely that Germany would be much better off if it moved closer to Moscow. “Let’s get rid of the sanctions!” »This is how the president of the AfD, Tino Chrupalla, hammered, assuring that “Gas prices will return to normal when we buy cheap gas from Russia again”.

Attacks against the current Minister of Economy

Speaking in this way in front of the protesters, some of whom had come with Russian flags and others with banners calling for the return to service of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, the strongman of the German far right applauded warmly. But it is above all his attacks against the current economy minister, the environmentalist Robert Habeck, that have earned him the most success.

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“Habeck has declared an economic war on Russia. In truth, it is against our own country that it is at war.”declared Tino Chrupalla, before the crowd chanted: “Habeck muss weg! » (“Habeck Must Clean Up”). A direct echo of “Merkel mussweg! » that punctuated the demonstrations of the AfD in times of the former chancellor.

Although his name was also hissed, Social Democrat Olaf Scholz was not entitled to the same outburst of anger on Saturday. Amid the protesters, Marc Vallendar, an AfD deputy in the Berlin regional parliament, has an explanation: “Our chancellor is so transparent and insipid that it is not easy to mobilize against him. Habeck is much more divisive. As Green, he embodies everything we stand for. »

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