Interview

Interview with Marcus Pretzell

The quickly growing Alternative Für Deutschland (AfD) wants to be Germany’s strongest party in five years. We talked to Marcus Pretzell, MEP of the German anti-immigration, eurosceptic party about migration and the reputation of the Hungarian government.

pretzell lead

– Is Europe reacting properly to the terrorist attacks of the last years?

– It’s always the same scenario. After every terrorist attack people are sad but nobody starts thinking about what to do to prevent the next incident. It’s rather hypocritical saying “Je suis Bruxelles”, “Je suis Paris”…well, to be honest, je suis “sick of it”. In fact, more incidents are likely to happen, also in Germany.

– As a result of German migration policies?

– Of course. In Germany we have much experience with Turkish Muslims, many social and integration problems, but this is nothing compared to the problems probably arising with a million of Arab Muslims. These problems will range far bigger and Angela Merkel asked for these kind of problems.

 – Angela Merkel admitted already years ago that the multicultural society is not functioning. Why does she still support the open doors policy?

– She changed her mind on many issues before, nobody really knows why. Like with energy politics – after the Japanese disaster in 2011 she decided to shut down the German nuclear plants for example. She explains her steps neither to her party, nor to the voters. In several aspects she started doing green politics, instead of following the conservative values of the CDU. What is more surprising is why the biggest German party accepts this.

 – How does migration affect the CDU-CSU alliance? Bavarians are threatening with a split.

– They have been saying this for quite a long time. Last year Horst Seehofer said “this is the last warning”, then again, “the very last time, I wont’t say this again” and nothing really happened. If they want to end this migration policy, they have to leave the government. You’re either part of the government and responsible for its policies, or you’re in the opposition. The CSU will have to make up its mind.

– How is the AfD’s rise changing the power structure of German politics?

– German was the last European country with no real opposition. There are opposition parties rising everywhere, in Western and Northern Europe more right wing parties, in Southern Europe left wing parties. The evolution of the AfD is a lot faster, but the German political structure is very-very static. Things are happening now in a very quick manner, and Germans are not used to quick changes like that. In July last year we only had three percents, now we are the third biggest party, only 5 percents behind the SPD. By 2021 we’ll be the strongest party in Germany.

– What are the most important goals of your party programme?

– First of all direct democracy. The people should be able to control the government. In Germany we experienced regarding many questions – migration, EU, energy, Russian sanctions – that the government took a position very far from the what people of Germany think. We want to change our energy and migration policies, to control our border. We want to make steps against radical Islam, stop the financing of mosques from abroad. We also want a new family policy as we have a huge demographic problem is Germany, we need more children. We should restructure the tax system in order to support having children, not just marriage itself.

 – This reminds in several aspects of the Hungarian government’s programme. Is our example influencing how German people think or even how they vote?

– I don’t think it influences how they vote, at least not directly. But it started a discussion. It was very funny that Merkel was insulting the Hungarian government when it was fulfilling its duties – according to EU agreements – by protecting the EU external border. The way Orbán’s government has been acting in Hungary ia pretty much what we think the German government should do. Your government is a lot more clever than ours, but it’s not too hard of course.

 – Some of the attackers in Cologne are illegal immigrants who arrived before the current migration wave. They came from safe Northern African countries, they have no legal basis to stay in Germany but still, they are here for years. How is this possible?

– By the end of 2014 we had 600.000 illega migrants in Germany, at least officially. We have been returning 10.000 every year, so it will take 60 years to deal with them. Last year a million of new migrants came, the majority illegally… so count how much time would it take to send them home. One of the reasons why people are coming is that they know what they will be able to stay for quite a while.

 – You have recently joined the Europe of Nations and Freedom group in the European Parliament. What potential this cooperation has?

– We should have one big eurosceptic group instead of many small ones. I don’t think that this cooperation changes too much in the EP, but it’s a political sign. This group has parties to whom the political future belongs, they may give the next presidents, prime ministers of their countries. Both Juncker and Schulz know that their last chance is now. The change will be dramatic, and by the European elections in 2019 the current political establishment is over.

Read the whole interview in English or in Hungarian on Magyar Hírlap Online!

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