The lower house of the German Parliament (Bundestag) has fined the far-right AfD party more than 500,000 euros, several media reported Thursday. The party had received disputed donations from Switzerland.
The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party will have to spend some 504,429 euros, according to two letters sent to this formation by the Bundestag, affirm the weekly Der Spiegel and the public channel ARD.
Part of the fine, around 396,000 euros, concerns a disputed donation of 150,000 francs that Alice Weidel, co-chair of the far-right parliamentary group, allegedly received from Switzerland during the 2017 legislative election campaign. The payment was made to the account of the local AfD section of Lake Constance, to which she belongs.
Funding of a conference in question
The other part of the fine concerns the financing, via Swiss accounts, of a conference on Europe organized by the AfD in February 2016 in Düsseldorf (west). In Germany, the law prohibits donating money to a political party from a company in a country that is not a member of the European Union.
The AfD made a remarkable entry into the German Bundestag in 2017 by becoming the country’s third political force behind the conservatives of the CDU, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the Social Democrats of the SPD who are currently forming a coalition government in the National level. The party regularly claims to break with the supposed business practices of other political formations and regularly makes a campaign argument.
ats / ebz