Von der Leyen mocks Germany’s far-right AfD over scandal

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen mocks the launch of the European Parliament election campaign by far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has been overshadowed by spying scandals and allegations of buying foreign influence. did.

AfD’s leading candidates are: maximilian krawas absent from Saturday’s election campaign launch event, less than a week after Kula’s aides were arrested on suspicion of spying for China.

Kula himself is currently the subject of a preliminary investigation by German prosecutors into possible payments from Russia and China and whether they influenced his work in the European Parliament.

“First it was covered up by the executive committee, then it was covered up by the executive committee. How about the AfD finally revealing the truth?” von der Leyen said at a conference in the western German city of Aachen on Sunday. He said this at an event for the youth wing of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

AfD leaders decided to continue supporting Mr. Kula despite the scandal, but removed him from the program of the party’s election campaign launch event on Saturday.

Ms von der Leyen also slammed the eurosceptic AfD’s proposal that Germany should leave the European Union.

Von der Leyen cited research from the German Institute for Economic Research (IW) and said doing so would come at great cost to the German economy.

According to von der Leyen, IW has calculated that Germany will lose about 10% of its economic output as a result of the so-called “Brexit” (Germany leaving the EU).

Von der Leyen said no member state benefits more from the EU’s single market than Germany, noting that 55% of Germany’s exports go to other countries in the single market.

Leaving the EU would mean an annual loss of 400 billion to 500 billion euros ($428 billion to $535 billion) in prosperity and 2.2 million jobs for Germany.

“The AfD’s European plan is a job-destroying plan,” von der Leyen said.

Ursula von der Leyen, leading candidate of the European People's Party (EPP) and President of the European Commission, speaks at the 60th North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Junge Union Day. Henning Kaiser/DPA

Ursula von der Leyen, leading candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP) and President of the European Commission, speaks at the 60th North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Junge Union Day. Henning Kaiser/DPA

Ursula von der Leyen, leading candidate of the European People's Party (EPP) and President of the European Commission, speaks at the 60th North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Junge Union Day. Henning Kaiser/DPAUrsula von der Leyen, leading candidate of the European People's Party (EPP) and President of the European Commission, speaks at the 60th North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Junge Union Day. Henning Kaiser/DPA

Ursula von der Leyen, leading candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP) and President of the European Commission, speaks at the 60th North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Junge Union Day. Henning Kaiser/DPA

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