Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) has reclassified the far-right Alternative for Germany’s (AfD) youth wing as an extremist entity that threatens democracy, it said on Wednesday.
The domestic spy agency began monitoring the Young Alternatives organization for suspected extremism in 2019, but it will now be monitored as a confirmed case of right-wing extremism. It said the the group “propagates a racial concept of society based on basic biologistic assumptions.”
Other groups classified as extremist
Also mentioned in Wednesday’s announcement were two other groups that would now be classified as extremist entities: the Institute for State Policy and the One Percent group.
There is no longer any doubt that these three associations of persons are pursuing anti-constitutional endeavors,” said BfV President Thomas Haldenwang. “They are therefore classified and processed by the BfV as confirmed right-wing extremist endeavors.”
AfD entering the mainstream
The news could be a blow for the AfD. The party was recently polling at around 15-17%, just a few percentage points behind two members of Germany’s governing coalition, the environmentalist Greens and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).
The AfD was founded in 2013 as an anti-euro party but has shifted further to the right on issues like migration to become Germany’s most successful far-right party since World War II. More recently it has capitalized on voter anger over rising energy prices in the wake of sanctions on Russia.