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European elections: Business alliance against extremism and racism

European elections: Business alliance against extremism and racism

A broad alliance with heavyweights such as Siemens, VW, Deutsche Bank, Bosch and Deutsche Bahn is sending a signal against populism and calling for European elections. It does not name any specific parties.

An alliance of more than 30 large German companies – including numerous heavyweights – is taking a stand against extremism, populism and racism ahead of the European elections. The “We stand for values” initiative is calling for people to take part in the European elections from June 6th to 9th and is launching a corresponding campaign on social media. The companies involved also want to raise awareness among their approximately 1.7 million employees through events – even beyond the election.

The companies are convinced “that exclusion, hatred and isolation are not compatible with our values ​​and endanger the entrepreneurial freedom and prosperity of every individual,” it said. The aim is to counter this with a society “without hatred, division, exclusion and racism”. How specifically employees should be addressed varies. Depending on the company, there are internal discussion groups, workshops, town halls, video messages or even information events, it said. Much of this has already started.

The list of those involved includes numerous heavyweights, from Siemens to VW, Bosch, Mercedes, Bayer to Deutsche Bahn, RWE to Deutsche Bank. The German Federation of Trade Unions and the Federation of German Industries are also taking part.

“Isolation, extremism and xenophobia are poison”

“Our alliance stands for respect, tolerance, openness and diversity. Extremists and racists question these values ​​and at the same time offer seemingly simple solutions to the complex problems of our time,” said Siemens boss Roland Busch. “In doing so, they are dividing our society and threatening our future.” His colleague from Siemens Energy, Christian Bruch, said: “Seclusion, extremism and xenophobia are poison for German exports and jobs here in Germany.” One should not “give the fear mongers any space and fall for their supposedly simple solutions,” he emphasized.

The head of Deutsche Bank, Christian Sewing, warned: “Investors who value Germany, especially because of our firm democratic values, are watching the developments with concern and are hesitant to invest.”

BMW boss Oliver Zipse emphasizes the importance of Europe for his company. “Our success also depends to a large extent on trade relations within the European Union,” he said. And Thyssenkrupp boss Miguel López made it clear: “Anyone who is against European unification, international cooperation and globalization is also clearly against Thyssenkrupp.”

Würth lost orders because of warnings about the AfD

When asked, the initiative did not initially specify to whom or which parties the statements on populism, right-wing extremism and hatred refer.

It is rare for companies to mention specific names in such contexts. Even in the context of the demonstrations against the right-wing at the beginning of the year, there were mainly general statements from the economy. The “screw king” Reinhold Würth, who wrote a letter to his employees in March and warned against the election of the AfD, is different. However, this cost the company orders with a volume of around 1.5 million euros, as the billionaire recently told the “Handelsblatt”.

Source: Stern

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