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Interior Minister Faeser: "It is up to the business community to take a clear stance on this"

Photo: Melissa Erichsen / dpa

The reported contacts of the dairy entrepreneur Theo Müller with the AfD put business bosses nationwide under increasing pressure to distance themselves from the partly right-wing extremist party. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told Handelsblatt: "The climate of division and resentment that the AfD is stirring up is deterring highly qualified workers and skilled workers from abroad."

If this remains unchallenged, according to the SPD politician, there will be a further "creeping normalization" of right-wing populist and right-wing extremist positions. That's why it's also up to the business community to take a clear stance on this," Faeser demanded. She expects this "also and especially from employers who employ tens of thousands of people, many of whom have a migration background."

CSU General Secretary: "The AfD is harming Germany"

In fact, entrepreneurs in this country have long remained silent about the rise of the AfD. Only slowly did an awareness develop that the party is also harmful to the business location. In Germany, the party recently came to more than 20 percent in nationwide polls, and in addition to the Thuringia state association led by Björn Höcke, the Saxony-Anhalt state association is now also classified as right-wing extremist by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

In the Handelsblatt, SPD leader Saskia Esken also demanded that entrepreneurs and business associations take "a clear stance against racism, xenophobia and exclusion." They should "raise their voices when foreign professionals are discriminated against, insulted or even attacked," she told the newspaper.

Individual entrepreneurs have already openly positioned themselves against the AfD – such as Evonik CEO Christian Kullmann. He recently told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that managers should act "authentically and directly" against right-wing activities. And: "The AfD is damaging our economy, our society, our future."

The CDU/CSU, the Greens and the FDP also see the German economy as responsible. "It must be clear to every entrepreneur, every employee: The AfD is harming Germany," CSU General Secretary Martin Huber told Handelsblatt. Irene Mihalic, First Parliamentary Secretary of the Green parliamentary group, is quoted as saying: "Especially in times like these, it is of the utmost importance that all relevant forces in society take a clear stance against enemies of the constitution."

FDP Secretary-General Bijan Djir-Sarai advised business representatives to "clearly name the dangers posed by the AfD." The party poses "a considerable risk" to the success of the German economy.

Read the commentary here: All millers, or what?