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Monday, 8 August 2011

Calls to ban far-right German party pose propaganda risk (Germany)

Right-wing extremist parties in Europe have come under fresh scrutiny in recent weeks, following the twin attacks in Norway which killed 77 people.

In Germany, the attacks re-launched a debate into the political legitimacy of the country's main nationalist party, the National Democratic Party (NPD). Politicians from the main opposition party, the SPD, have made fresh calls for the party to be banned.

But a spokesman for German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Deutsche Welle that Friedrich could not support another attempt at a ban.

"He doesn't seek a renewed case to ban the NPD," said the spokesman. Friedrich justified his position on the basis that a ban had already failed in 2003.

In 2003, a high-profile case for banning the NPD party came before the Federal Constitutional Court. The case, however, was thrown out after it was revealed that a number of the NPD's inner circle were in fact undercover agents or informants of the German secret services.

Since the government bodies were unwilling to fully disclose their agents' identities and activities, the court found it impossible to reach a verdict and the case was dropped.

This item continues at DW World