Marine Le Pen’s Front National has invited Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Frauke Petry to a summit in Paris, but some are critical of the move.
There has been a push by Front National leader Marine Le Pen to forge new international ties on the right in Europe and elsewhere. Madame Le Pen recently made a visit to Quebec Canada where she allegedly met with several members of the separatist Parti Québécois though the leadership rebuffed her calls for cooperation.
Le Pen has now turned her attention towards the German AfD who have been surging in the polls as they become one of the few, if not the only party, to consistently oppose mass migration. Edouard Ferrand, head of the FN delegation in the European Parliament, told German magazine Der Speigel that he wanted the AfD leader to come to the next FN party congress because the two parties have mutual interests when it comes to stances on issues like the migrant crisis and Islamisation Tagesspiegel reports.
Ferrand said that he welcomed the move of AfD MEP Marcus Pretzell into the FN-led Europe of Nations and Freedoms (ENF) group in the European parliament. Pretzell announced his intentions in Stuttgart at the AfD conference which saw left wing extremists and anarchists try and shut the conference down.
The ENF is chaired by FN leader Marine Le Pen and is a Eurosceptic group that counts among its membership the Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe), Geert Wilders’ PVV and Italy’s Lega Nord. The signing on of the AfD member was regarded by Ferrand as a “huge success” and he said having a German member in the group was “an important tool in the fight against the EU and Madame Merkel.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel came out earlier this month vowing to combat the rise of the Front National, saying: “I will make my contribution towards ensuring that other political forces are stronger than the National Front.” The comments came after Madame Le Pen said Merkel’s recent action “shows interference in our internal affairs as outrageous and humiliating for France, and marks a cruel truth: that of submission of our country to Germany”.
AfD firebrand Bjorn Hocke, famous for daring to produce a German flag on national television, has been one of the driving forces to get the AfD and the FN together. He pointed out the fact that the two parties shared many of the same views on important issues.
Some in the AfD are not as enthused about cooperating with Le Pen and her party. Deputy chairman Alexander Gauland leads the resistance toward closer ties saying “I would not consider it as useful, to organize a highly symbolic meeting between Marine Le Pen and Frauke Petry” and claimed that “until recently, the National Front was also anti-Semitic.”
While Gauland may be sceptical about Madame Le Pen, he agrees with her party on the subject of Islamisation. He told German media that Islam “is always intellectually linked with taking over the state”.