The Thuringian CDU politician Mario Voigt and his AfD opponent Björn Höcke exchanged blows over European policy in a TV duel. On Thursday evening, Voigt warned of the consequences of Höcke’s European policy ideas. He wanted the European Union to die, said Voigt in the TV duel on the Welt channel. “That would be a catastrophe for Germany, that would be relegation for Germany.” The EU is not perfect, “but it is a house that has always protected us,” he said.

Höcke, on the other hand, said that Germany had to leave the EU. The 52-year-old, on the other hand, called for a “loose alliance of European states”. Höcke criticized bureaucracy in the EU and high energy prices. The AfD is also for a common market and the protection of external borders. “Otherwise we need independence,” he said.

A debate about Europe and the EU was the starting point for the TV duel. In an interview, Voigt said that Höcke wanted to let Europe die – probably alluding to Höcke’s sentence “This EU must die so that the real Europe can live.” Höcke then threatened legal action on X (formerly Twitter), but then suggested settling the dispute in a dispute.

A new state parliament will be elected in Thuringia on September 1st. Voigt is the top candidate for the CDU, Höcke for the AfD, which is classified and monitored by the state Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Thuringia as definitely right-wing extremist. In surveys, the AfD is clearly ahead in Thuringia, with the CDU in second place. Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Left) currently leads a red-red-green minority government. Ramelow is running again in the election.