MUNICH (AP) – Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who led a coalition with an extreme right-wing party in his first term, confirmed on Friday the refusal of his German conservative colleagues to work with the far right alternative for Germany.
German politics was stirred up by the election of a business-friendly governor last week with the support of the center-right Christian Democratic Union of Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Alternative for Germany (AfD).
The regional CDU legislators opposed the preliminary appeals by the national party leader, who announced her resignation this week, and broke what is generally considered taboo in post-war German politics with regard to cooperation with extremist parties.
The new governor of the East Thuringian state resigned a few days after his election. The CDU leadership has again insisted that the party does not work directly or indirectly with the AfD.
Kurz, who ruled with Austria’s extreme right-wing Freedom Party as a junior coalition partner until a scandal over the party leader at the time overthrown the government last year, said he saw differences between the Freedom Party – a long-standing part of Austrian politics – and the upstart AfD, which is part of the has steadily developed in recent years.
“I think it makes sense that the party (CDU) made a clear decision that there should be no cooperation with the AfD,” said Kurz at the Munich Security Conference.
Briefly returned to power in January after a seven-month absence, this time at the head of a strikingly different coalition with the Greens’ environmentalists. He suggested that a similar combination could come together after the next German election next year.