During the party congress in Augsburg, Bavaria, AfD Chairman Jörg Meuthen took aim at multiculturalism, which he slammed as a "quixotic ideology," calling for a new refugee policy in Europe, one he described as “Fortress Europe.”
“Multiculturalism is the great ideological fallacy of the early 21st century, and with a closer look, the realization comes what time has proven this alien ideology and utopia to be,” he said, according to the Upper Austrian News.
He lambasted the asylum policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel (representing the Christian Democratic Union), French President Emmanuel Macron and EU President Jean-Claude Juncker, who drive “the creeping suicide of Europe" with their stance on the matter. The AfD politician also slammed Merkel for her resistance to the proposal of Interior Minister Horst Seehofer to turn away refugees who are registered in other countries or have been denied asylum. Meuthen stated that, if Merkel chooses to overrule Seehofer, it would turn her into a "banana republic" leader.
At the same time, the AfD leader also pointed at those, whom his party sees as potential allies for pushing stricter border control and building this “Fortress Europe.” As a an example he named Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz from the conservative Austrian People's Party, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini from the euro-sceptic Lega party and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
However, Kurz’s spokesman distanced the Austrian Chancellor from the right-wing AfD.
"We are clearly pro-European federal government," the statement reads, stressing that "concerning migration in particular," the Austrian government is committed to a pan-European solution.
The statement pointed out that Sebastian Kurz’s allies in Germany are “the German government, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, and not the AfD."
Party Congress Under Siege
The AfD party congress began in Augsburg on June 30, and was protested by about 5,000 demonstrators. Although the local police described the rallies as "emotional, but peaceful," some of the protesters tried to block the cars of the delegates and streets around the party meeting point, so the security forces had to use pepper spray.
Augsburg Mayor Kurt Gribl, representing the local conservative party, the Christian Social Union, also got an angry reception when he tried to address the crowd. Somebody threw tomatoes and eggs at him and attempted to attack the police at the stage with “pyrotechnics,” but nobody was hit.