Radio Sputnik discussed the European Parliament's upcoming elections and the crises affecting Europe with the German lawyer, journalist and lawmaker, who is running for the European Parliament as a member of the populist, eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. He is ranked 6th among AfD's candidates.
Sputnik: You are running for the European Parliament as a candidate for the AfD party. What are your priorities if you become one of the decision-makers?
Nicolaus Fest: My priorities are: reformation of the still-undemocratic European Parliament. Secondly, closing the borders, because migration is the mother of all crises. And thirdly, establishing a clear assignment of tasks between the EU and its member states. The EU should only be in charge of tasks that the state alone can't solve properly; for example: energy, commerce, and environmental problems.
Sputnik: Germany is considered to be the economic and political leader of the European Union. However, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has been advocating leaving the Eurozone and even, potentially, the European Union entirely. What are the crucial reasons behind your call for Germany to withdraw from the bloc?
Nicolaus Fest: The crucial reason is that the Euro is dead. Its problems are not solved, even after ten years. This will cause a disaster. And what is more, why do we want to potentially leave the EU? Because we want our country back. We want to decide who comes in and who does not. We are not going to let the Greens and the Left parties in Brussels carry out their agenda and "one world, no borders" nonsense.
Sputnik: In your view, under what circumstances can Germany remain in the European Union?
Nicolaus Fest: A set, full reformation of the EU and strict limitation of Brussels' power to supranational tasks.
Nicolaus Fest: Well, that's simple. Firstly, closing the borders immediately, then the deportation of everyone who has no right to be here, or if they don't want to leave voluntarily, the internment of those people who have no rights to stay here.
Sputnik: The AfD party has been branded as an anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic party. Why do you think the media are portraying the AfD party in this way?
Nicolaus Fest: I think because they are afraid of us and they want to… I mean they are mostly close allies of the government and of the Left and this is the reason why they report in this way. We are not anti-immigrant, we are against uncontrolled immigration. That's totally different. We want to pick who comes in. And moreover, we are not against Islam, as such, but as a political ideology that wants to change our society. And, you know, whoever wants to live [under] Sharia law can do so but not here. If you want to live here, you have to accept our rules. That is what we say.
Sputnik: What would you like the party to be associated with?
Nicolaus Fest: I think that comes very clearly from our programme. We stand for realism. We stand for the rule of law. We stand for protecting the open society and freedom of speech. And of course, we stand for benign patriotism that aims to re-establish good relationships with all neighbours and all superpowers, including Russia.
The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.