The party called on the government to follow the US and Austria’s example and refuse to sign the international guidelines for tackling migration. It also slammed the country’s government for keeping quiet about the deal, which would turn Germany into “a settlement area.”
The Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, has rejected a motion brought by the Alternative for Germany party, which demanded that Berlin should not ratify the United Nations Global Compact for Migration. The decision is not binding, and the German government was free to sign the agreement, introducing guidelines for migration regulations around the world, anyway. But the vote was preceded by heated debates.
“Millions of people from crisis-stricken regions around the world are being encouraged to get on the road. Leftist dreamers and globalist elites want to secretly turn our country from a nation state into a settlement area,” AfD leader Alexander Gauland argued, as Deutsche Welle reports.
The AfD has also faulted the German Cabinet of the Christian Democratic Union, its Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union and their coalition partners the Social Democrats, whose representative Heiko Maas heads the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for trying to rush the pact secretly. According to the party, it was backed by “mainstream” media.
“Just a declaration of intention, hardly worth talking about, that’s why it wasn’t necessary to inform the public in advance,” said Gauland.
CDU Supports Pact Despite Disagreements
This lack of communication and public discussion has been criticized by some CDU lawmakers ahead of the debates in the Bundestag. They also complained that the agreement in its current form doesn’t distinguish between forced and labor migration.
While Health Minister Jens Spahn, who seeks to replace Angela Merkel as the CDU’s leader following her upcoming departure, demanded that the agreement should be examined carefully, Christian Democrat Marian Wendt stated earlier that he would oppose signing the global migration pact in its current form together with several colleagues. At the same time, he insisted on debates to prevent right-wing politicians from shaping the discussion with “false allegations.”
Despite debates within the party, the CDU still supported the pact, claiming it’s in the interest of Germany. The party’s Stephan Harbarth fought the AfD criticism, saying “those who vote against this pact are acting against the national interests of Germany.” The CDU insisted that the UN agreement wouldn’t encourage migration. It is to “standardize the norms around the world” to deal with the issue, reaffirming every country’s sovereignty to manage migration. Incidentally, German law would not need any changes.
“When there is the talk of creating access to basic welfare and basic health care, then those are minimum standards that have already been implemented in Germany long ago – we have to try and make sure they are introduced in other parts of the world,” he said.
Left Slam Pact as Weak in its Core
Criticism of both sides of these debates – the CDU and the AfD – came from the left. Die Linke slammed the right-wing party for its “sordid campaign of fear” around the pact and criticized the government for the lack of information. As for the UN pact itself, Die Linke’s Sevim Dagdelen stated that the agreement didn’t address the causes of migration, in her view, including global free trade deals and the arms industry.
The international deal is expected to be adopted at a dedicated Intergovernmental Conference which will be held in Morocco on December 10-11. The GCM represents the global community’s attempt to establish a common approach to dealing with international migration.
Washington withdrew from the talks on the deal in 2017, and Vienna followed its example last Wednesday. Budapest has also criticized the deal, saying it represents a threat to national security. Last week, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Warsaw was likely to abandon the deal, too. Czech President Milos Zeman also opposed the agreement recently, while Prime Minister Andrej Babis announced his intention to reject it.
‘Fascism’: Tommy Robinson Scolds PayPal for Blocking Him From Cash
PayPal’s harsh move comes less than a week before Robinson is slated to give a speech at US Congress, which could earn him over $1.3 million. Robinson’s right-wing rhetoric has garnered a lot of support both in the UK and the US, but has also set him at odds with leftist activists, who have asked PayPal to cut off his account.
The online payment platform PayPal has closed down the account of right-wing British activist Tommy Robinson and frozen the money that he had there for what they call promoting “hatred and violence.”
“We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory,” the company told Euronews. “Striking the necessary balance between upholding free expression and open dialogue and protecting principles of tolerance, diversity, and respect for all people is a challenge that many companies are grappling with today.”
The move came after online petitioners called on tech companies to cut links with the English Defence League founder. One such petition that has racked up shy of 65,000 signatures branded Robinson “Europe’s loudest far-right Islamophobe” and pressed PayPal to end business dealings with Robinson.
According to the activist himself, PayPal told him that he was cut off from the platform forever without giving a legitimate reason. Robinson called PayPal’s move “fascism” and suggested that this was an attempt to silence him and prevent from working, including running a full-time team and reporting news and stories that “media don’t want to cover.”
PayPal has a track record of banning right-wing accounts: last month, it stopped processing payments to Gab, a right-wing-friendly social network used by Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers, and to conservative media outlet InfoWars.
Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has been invited by a group of Republicans to speak at US Congress on November 14. The speech could earn him £1 million (over $1,300,000) and possibly grant him a visa; he is now waiting for his application to be approved.
Robinson was released on bail Monday after a court hearing on his contempt of court case, which was passed to the Attorney General. However, the activist faces a retrial and could be sent back to prison if again found in contempt for filming people at a grooming trial in Leeds and broadcasting the footage on social media.
Robinson was detained earlier this year for livestreaming outside a courthouse, where a gang rape trial was being held. The EDL’s ex-leader was already on a suspended sentence for contempt of court for recording a video in Canterbury Crown Court in May 2017 during the trial of four suspected rapists, which made the judge activate a three-month sentence for the previous offense and add 10 months for the new one.