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Controversial German politician launches new right-wing party

In Europe
February 17, 2024

Controversial German politician Hans-Georg Maaßen officially launched his new right-wing party, the Values Union, on Saturday, participants at the meeting told dpa.

The former head of Germany’s domestic intelligence service founded his party after being asked to leave the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) because his views are considered too extreme for the CDU’s centre-right stance.

The party’s name in German, WerteUnion, echoes the names of the parties in the mainstream conservative bloc, the CDU and its sister party in Bavaria, the Christian Social Union (CSU).

In an interview with tv.berlin broadcast on Friday evening, Maaßen said that his new party wants to fill the gap between the CDU/CSU bloc, which he said has lost its way, and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which he said has become radical.

“We stand for classic civic values that have made Germany strong and that ultimately shaped the CDU,” he said.

The Values Union is in favour of freedom, the rule of law, democracy and tolerance, but also in favour of the state withdrawing from people’s lives, Maaßen added.

The meeting, which took place on a ship on the Rhine river in western Germany, was also intended to adopt a charter and a party programme, Maaßen had announced earlier.

The 61-year-old said he intends to run for the party’s chairmanship.

The Values Union already existed as an association, a very conservative and formerly CDU-affiliated organization with several thousand members that has been in existence for several years.

The group made headlines in recent weeks when it was revealed in an investigative report that some of its members participated in a meeting of far-right extremists in November who discussed plans to deport migrants deemed not assimilated enough, including those with German passports.

Former head of Germany's domestic intelligence servicem, Hans-Georg Maassen, on his way to the Godesia excursion shipship on which the ultra-conservative Werteunion (the Values Union) will be formed as a party. Thomas Banneyer/dpa

Former head of Germany’s domestic intelligence servicem, Hans-Georg Maassen, on his way to the Godesia excursion shipship on which the ultra-conservative Werteunion (the Values Union) will be formed as a party. Thomas Banneyer/dpa

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