Germany close on to ban NPD
BERLIN - Reuters
A supporter of NPD shouts during a demonstration in Frankfurt. REUTERS photoThe heads of Germany’s 16 federal states unanimously agreed yesterday to push ahead with a legal bid to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) despite reservations from Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The agreement follows a similar recommendation by regional interior ministers on Dec. 5. The Bundesrat upper house, which represents the federal states, will now vote on Dec. 14 on whether to file a case with the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe. Opposition Social Democrat (SPD) Brandenburg state Premier Matthias Platzeck said the decision sent a clear signal. “Our democracy is well-fortified and we will not just stand by and watch the activities of neo-Nazis,” he said.
An attempt to ban the NPD in 2003 collapsed because informants high in the party were used as key witnesses. Merkel has said she wants to be sure any case is watertight as she does not want to risk failure a second time round. That, she argues, could backfire and help legitimize the NPD in the eyes of some voters.