By Nigel Farage MEP
• I was very pleased to be invited to Berlin as the guest speaker at a conference to discuss the illegality of the Greek bailout and the desire to return to the Deutschmark.
Four brave professors have lodged a complaint with the German Constitutional Court on the grounds of the bailout being in breach of the EU Treaties. Their case has been accepted and will be heard in the coming months.
Two of these professors were heading up the conference and I arrived in Berlin not quite knowing what to expect, but hopeful that a euro sceptic Party in Germany might be emerging.
The venue was an old, disused factory in East Berlin. We were picked up by two security guards at our hotel and our EFD Group Press Officer Hermann Kelly and myself were driven to an area of waste ground. What was going on? Apparently there were about a hundred international socialist protestors at the front of the building and it had been decided that we would be smuggled in through the back. The security men had walky-talkies, truncheons and pepper spray and looked pretty handy. We left the car and were taken through a hole in the fence and over an old bomb site to the factory. I wished I had not taken so long to polish my shoes and they were soon covered in sand and mud. The whole scene was like something out of Michael Caine’s ‘Funeral in Berlin’. Were we to be exchanged with someone else? We entered the back door and walked into a vast cavern of a building with graffiti on the walls.
However strange the venue seemed, I was surprised to see a crowd of six hundred people, all paying €25 a head to be there. The professors were wonderful. Hankel, a man of about eighty, had enormous charm and made a passionate speech about the loss of democracy in Germany. Schnackschneider was dryer, but very determined and looked and sounded just like a German UKIP. Then it was my turn to speak. A translation of my speech was already in the delegate’s files to help the non- English speakers. I told them that the EU was not just undemocratic but anti-democratic. I urged them to form a political alliance and to win seats in the European Parliament in 2014 and promised to help them and work with them in the future. I did this because I have always believed that a broad anti-EU movement across the continent is more powerful than just UKIP on our own. We can be very pleased that UKIP is now the role model for those other countries, a point well made by the Czech Peter Mach at our recent Torquay Conference. The response from the audience was exceptional as they were excited about their prospects and encouraged by my words.
The only downside to the trip was the two hours it took me to get out of the dreaded Heathrow, and my bag is still missing!
• Farage calls for euro-critical movement in Germany (The Parliament)
• View photos on EFD Flickr
• Russia Today's report on the Euro Action Conference, Berlin, 25 September 2010
Nigel Farage's speech on video will be uploaded upon availability.