Germany’s AfD invites ex-Trump advisor Steve Bannon to conference

Germany's far-right party AfD has invited Donald Trump's former advisor Steve Bannon to a media conference in Berlin next month.

Germany's AfD invites ex-Trump advisor Steve Bannon to conference
Steve Bannon in Zurich on March 6th 2018. Photo: DPA

A spokesman for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) confirmed to news agency DPA that Bannon has been asked to attend the 'Conference for a free media,' to be held on May 11th in Berlin for right-wing journalists and bloggers.

“We are arranging the details,” an organizer told the weekly Der Spiegel, which said that British anti-EU politician Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party, has also been invited.

SEE ALSO: German far-right capitalizes on migrant crimes in EU election campaign

Bannon has been increasingly visible in Europe in recent months, touting plans for a Brussels-based foundation called “The Movement” to spark a populist right-wing revolt in elections for the European Parliament from May 23-26th.

It's not the first time Bannon has been in contact with the AfD. In March last year the US President's former strategist met with AfD co-leader Alice Weidel in Zurich, Switzerland, to discuss political strategies and alternative media channels. 

Bannon is known in the United States for being one of the founding members of Breitbart, a far-right site that's been slammed for publishing racist, xenophobic and misogynistic stories as well as giving voice to conspiracy theories.

Bannon was kicked out of the White House by Trump in August 2017, a week after after the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, ended in the death of a counter protester.

'Standing ovation'

The AfD had previously invited former UKIP leader Farage to an event leading up to the September 2017 elections.

He received a standing ovation in the grand surroundings of the Spandau Citadel in western Berlin as he talked up Brexit and urged voters to stand up and be “bold” in a bid to challenge the status quo in their country.

Farage had been invited by the MEP Beatrix von Storch, a leading figure of the anti-immigration party. The event was attended by a few hundred voters in the German capital.

In Germany, the EU's biggest economy, the AfD, which was originally founded in 2013 as a Euro-sceptic party has become the biggest opposition party by railing against Chancellor Angela Merkel and her 2015 decision to allow a mass influx of asylum seekers.


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New army scandal: Germany vows to punish soldiers caught singing anti-Semitic songs

Germany's Defence Minister on Tuesday vowed to severely punish soldiers stationed in Lithuania who were accused of singing racist and anti-Semitic songs, if the allegations turned out to be true.

New army scandal: Germany vows to punish soldiers caught singing anti-Semitic songs
German soldiers training in Saxony-Anhalt in May. credit: dpa-Zentralbild | Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert

“Whatever happened is in no way acceptable,” said Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

Those implicated would be “vigorously prosecuted and punished”, she added.

The Spiegel Online news site had on Monday reported that German soldiers in Lithuania sang racist and anti-Semitic songs during a party at a hotel in April.

One had also sought to sexually assault another soldier while he was asleep, a scene which was caught on film, said Spiegel.

According to Spiegel Online, the scenes took place at a party at which soldiers consumed large quantities of alcohol. They are also alleged to have arranged a “birthday table” for Adolf Hitler on April 20th and to have sung songs for him.

It is unclear to what extent more senior ranked soldiers were aware of the incidents.

Three soldiers have been removed from the contingent stationed in the Baltic country and an investigation is ongoing to identify other suspects, said the report.

The German armed forces have been repeatedly rocked by allegations of right-wing extremism within their ranks.

Kramp-Karrenbauer last year ordered the partial dissolution of the KSK commando force after revelations that some of its members harboured neo-Nazi sympathies.

SEE ALSO: Germany to compensate gay soldiers who faced discrimination