AfD logo at the AfD national party conference (picture from July)
Photo: Carsten Koall / dpa
In an interview with the Handelsblatt, entrepreneur Theo Müller admitted contacts with the AfD. Müller is the main owner of the dairy giant of the same name, Theo Müller. The private dairy is known for its brands Müllermilch, Weihenstephan and Landliebe.
In mid-October, the »Bild« reported on an alleged meeting of the entrepreneur with the AfD leader Alice Weidel and other participants in a restaurant in Cannes, France. Müller did not respond to an inquiry from the newspaper at the time, the report said.
As the »Handelsblatt« writes, both Müller and a spokesman for Weidel have now confirmed the meeting. It was not the first meeting, they say. Apparently, it is not the last one: the next meeting with Weidel will take place at the end of the year. "During the talks with Dr. Weidel, I was interested in the program of the AfD as well as her personal view of current politics," the Handelsblatt quotes Müller as saying. During the exchange, he had found "not the slightest indication" that could lead to the conclusion of a Nazi ideology. That would be "an absolute no-go" for him.
According to assessments by federal and state intelligence agencies, parts of the AfD are considered anti-constitutional. In Thuringia, the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution had already classified the AfD with its controversial state party and parliamentary group leader Björn Höcke as certain right-wing extremist in March 2021. At the beginning of the month, a second state branch of the party was classified by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution as proven right-wing extremist: Saxony-Anhalt. Internal documents from the authorities, however, show how close the AfD is to the anti-constitutional NPD. You can read more about this here.
Müller told Handelsblatt that he does not support the AfD with donations – neither personally nor at the company level. A spokesman for Weidel also said that the party had not received any donations from Müller or his entourage. The meeting between Müller and Weidel was of a "purely private nature," according to the Weidel spokesman.
In the 2021 financial year, for example, the Theo Müller Group generated worldwide sales of around seven billion euros.