AfD under surveillance by German intelligence agency

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's domestic intelligence agency, now views the AfD, currently the largest opposition party in the Bundestag, as a potentially far-right organisation. This means that the entire party can be put under surveillance. So far this has only applied to certain AfD state branches. Most European media outlets welcome the move.

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Večernji list (HR) /

Finally recognised as a danger

Večernji list sees the decision as part of a process of growing awareness in German politics:

“The decision to put the entire AfD under surveillance by the German domestic intelligence agency is also a result of the fact that the German government - after a series of bloody attacks by extremists motivated by radical right-wing ideologies - has started to take right-wing extremism seriously. Right-wing terrorist attacks in Germany have been dealt with for years as acts by 'lone wolves', although the crimes were always linked to a racist background. The police and security services stubbornly refused to regard these cases as terrorism, which turned out to be a fatal mistake.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

Other states should follow suit

All Europe should be more vigilant against right-wing tendencies, La Vanguardia stresses:

“Putting the largest opposition party on the list reserved for small extremist groups or terrorists shows how concerned Germany is about the violations of the constitutional order and their potential consequences. Other European states with smiliar parties should take note. Only yesterday, France dissolved and banned a far-right anti-immigrant group. And Fidesz, the populist party led by the Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán, opted to leave the EPP group in the EU Parliament to avoid being expelled for its anti-European policies.”

De Standaard (BE) /

Exclusion only helps the far right

De Standaard is just as critical of surveillance of the AfD as it is of Fidesz's withdrawal from the EPP:

“After all, this allows the [right-wing extremist parties] to continue spreading their beloved myth about 'the voice of the people' being brutally silenced by 'the elites'. If these elites are simultaneously struggling to cope with a pandemic and occasionally suffering from the abuse of power or corruption, it will have little to protect it when the next storm hits. Covid-19 has temporarily obscured the dispute over which groups still belong to the democratic spectrum. It even looked like the far right was doomed to be just a bystander. Vain hope - the aftershocks of the health crisis will really put the cohesion of the political system to the test.”