Coalition plans a “scandal”: SPD outraged by von der Leyen’s right-wing turn

Coalition plans a “scandal”
SPD outraged by von der Leyen’s right-wing turn

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Before the European elections, the SPD is worried about EU Commission President von der Leyen’s coalition plans. The CDU politician does not rule out a later coalition with the right-wing conservatives. These include Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia. For the Social Democrats “a scandal”.

The SPD has sharply criticized EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s openness to cooperation with the right-wing conservative group of European Conservatives and Reformers (ECR). “Ursula von der Leyen opens the door to the far right,” said the SPD’s top candidate for the European elections, Katarina Barley. The European People’s Party (EPP), for which von der Leyen is running as the top candidate on June 9th, is thus revoking the democratic consensus. “Especially in times of rising right-wing extremism, this is a fatal sign.”

The EKR parliamentary group includes, among others, the right-wing party of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the Fratelli d’Italia, and the national-conservative Polish ruling party PiS. In a first election debate between the top candidates of the major European party families on Monday evening in Maastricht, von der Leyen said about possible cooperation with the EKR: “It depends very much on how the parliament is composed and who sits in which faction. ”

Barley: “These are autocratic parties”

If the former German defense minister wants to be at the head of the Brussels authority again, she must be confirmed by the EU Parliament after the European elections in the summer. Although it is initially the task of the heads of state and government to make a proposal for the President of the Commission, Parliament can reject this. Barley said PiS and Fratelli d’Italia were autocratic parties. “The Social Democrats have 160 years of experience in the fight against extremists. With us there will be no coalition with right-wing extremists,” she assured.

The deputy SPD parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, Achim Post, called von der Leyen’s openness to cooperation with the EKR a scandal. “The ECR group in the European Parliament includes parties that are working to dismantle democracy in their countries, are taking action against the free press or are inciting against minorities. Anyone who is not prepared to draw a clear dividing line here is undermining the decades-long democratic consensus, who held Europe together and made it strong.”

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