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German Freedom Party

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German Freedom Party

Freedom – Civil Rights Party for More Freedom and Democracy
Leader Michael Stürzenberger
Chairman Karl Schmitt
Founded 28 October 2010
Headquarters Storkower Straße 158
10407 Berlin
Ideology Classical liberalism
(self-identification)[1][2]
Direct democracy
(self-identification)
Criticism of Islam[1][3][4]
Conservatism[5]
Right-wing populism[4]
Political position Right-wing
Colours Blue and orange
Website
www.diefreiheit.org
Politics of Germany
Political parties
Elections

Freedom – Civil Rights Party for More Freedom and Democracy (Die Freiheit – Bürgerrechtspartei für mehr Freiheit und Demokratie), also known as The Freedom (German: Die Freiheit), is a small political party in Germany which identifies as conservative-liberal[6] or classical liberal[1] party; while the party has been described by German mainstream media as right-wing populist,[3][4] and is known for its criticism of Islam.[3][4]

It was founded in October 2010 by Berlin city parliamentarian René Stadtkewitz who had been expelled from the conservative CDU for inviting the Dutch politician and Islam critic Geert Wilders to Berlin. The party seeks the implementation of a direct citizen democracy based on the Swiss model and extensive changes in immigration and integration policy.[7]

History

Freedom was founded in October 2010 by Rene Stadtkewitz in the wake of the immigration debate spurred by the then-member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank Thilo Sarrazin.[8] The Berlin city parliamentarian Stadtkewitz was expelled from the Christian Democratic Union faction in 2010 after inviting Dutch politician Geert Wilders of the Party for Freedom to hold a speech in Berlin. A number of other politicians who left their respective parties joined Stadtkewitz,[9] while prominent Islam and immigration critic Thilo Sarrazin refused participation in the new party, but fought to stay in his Social Democratic Party and stated that the immigration and integration issues had to be discussed inside the major parties.[10] In June 2011, the party expanded, founding state associations in ten German states.[11][12]

The 2011 Berlin state election was the first election the party participated in. Freedom won 1.0% of the popular vote.[13]

Ideology

Campaign poster for the Munich local elections 2014

Freedom identifies as a conservative-liberal[6] or classical liberal[1][2] party. Stadtkewitz himself has explained that his party would be more liberal than the FDP, less statist than the SPD and more anti-political establishment than the German Greens.[2]

Some of their core issues include:[14]

  • The introduction of direct citizen democracy based on the Swiss model.
  • Tougher measures on crime
  • The reduction of immigration to deal with integration issues.
  • Support of Israel.
  • Stricter social welfare policies.
  • Combat the "Islamisation of Germany."

The program of the party is modeled after the one of the Dutch Party for Freedom, founded and led by Geert Wilders.[10]

Some German media have variously described the party as right-wing populist,[10][15] islamophobic,[3][4] and conservative.[5]

The party calls for scrutiny of imams, mosques, and Islamic schools and for a review of Islamic organizations to ensure their compliance with German laws, and condemns efforts to build a parallel legal structure based on sharia.[16]

International cooperation

Freedom receives support from Dutch politician Geert Wilders, leader and founder of the Party for Freedom, who announced his intention to include the party in his International Freedom Alliance project.[17] Politician Oskar Freysinger of the Swiss People's Party gave a speech on the occasion of Freedom's founding event in Bavaria.[11]

References

  1. ^ a b c d van Bebber, Werner (10 September 2010), Die Freiheit" soll rechts sein, liberal – und anders als andere""", Der Tagesspiegel, retrieved 22 August 2011 
  2. ^ a b c "Islamgegner Wilders plant Rede in Berlin", Der Tagesspiegel, 20 Sep 2010 
  3. ^ a b c d Gutsch, Jochen-Martin (1 June 2011), "Riding the Wave of Islamophobia: The German Geert Wilders", Spiegel Online, retrieved 21 July 2011 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Rechtspopulismus: Keinen Fußbreit", Die Zeit (in German), retrieved 21 July 2011 
  5. ^ a b "Wer verbirgt sich hinter der neuen konservativen Partei "Die Freiheit"?", Focus Online, retrieved 22 August 2011 
  6. ^ a b "René Stadtkewitz gründet bürgerlich-liberale Partei".  
  7. ^ Bielicki, Jan, "Anti-Islam-Partei "Die Freiheit": Geert Wilders light", Süddeutsche Zeitung, retrieved 30 Aug 2011 
  8. ^ "A false prophet".  
  9. ^ Der Berliner Abgeordnete Rene Stadtkewitz gründet neue Bürgerrechtspartei Die Freiheit. Press release of the party. 10 Sep 2010. Retrieved on 21 July 2011.
  10. ^ a b c Kensche, Christine (30 Aug 2011), "Der deutsche Wilders will kein Rassist sein", WELT Online, retrieved 30 Aug 2011 
  11. ^ a b Stumberger, Rudolf (6 June 2011), Die Freiheit" nun auch in Bayern""", Neues Deutschland (in German), retrieved 21 July 2011 
  12. ^ "Proteste gegen Parteitag zur Gründung von Die Freiheit in Hessen", nh24.de (in German), 6 June 2011, retrieved 21 July 2011 
  13. ^ http://www.wahlen-berlin.de
  14. ^ Presentation of the party platform on DieFreiheit.org
  15. ^ "Obdachlose Rechtspopulisten", Süddeutsche Zeitung, retrieved 30 Aug 2011 
  16. ^ http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/251772/germany-s-freiheit-party-joins-fray-daniel-pipes
  17. ^ "Geert Wilders - Ich, Retter des Abendlands", Die Zeit (in German), retrieved 21 July 2011 

External links

  • (German) Freedom official website
  • (English) Freedom international website
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