Efe Berlin


Updated Friday, February 9, 2024-13:44

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The Berlinale organization announced that it has canceled the invitations it had sent to politicians from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party for the opening of the film festival, following the criticism generated.

"The Berlinale management decided

to withdraw the invitation to the five AfD politicians who had previously been invited"

to the opening ceremony on the 15th, the organization said in a statement.

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He admitted that, in recent days, there has been an intense debate in the cultural sector, in the media and social networks, as well as within the Berlinale team itself about these invitations.

"The Berlinale has been committed for decades to basic democratic values ​​and against all forms of right-wing extremism. This is what the film programming and the Berlinale as a cultural institution represent," he stressed.

He noted that the festival has repeatedly expressed concern about the rise in Germany of anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim sentiment, hate speech and other anti-democratic and discriminatory attitudes.

In recent weeks, Germans have taken to the streets en masse to protest, after recently revealing a secret meeting last November in Potsdam, near Berlin, where members of

the AfD discussed alleged plans to expel millions of migrants

, including those with German passports.

"Especially in view of the revelations that have emerged in recent weeks about explicitly anti-democratic positions and about individual AfD politicians, it seems important to us, as a Berlinale and as a team, to take an unequivocal stance in favor of open democracy," stressed the organization.

"For this reason, today we have withdrawn in writing the invitation to all previously invited AfD politicians and have informed them that they are not welcome at the Berlinale," said Berlinale directors Mariëtte Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian.