German States Prepare New Campaign to Ban Right-Wing Extremists

Germany’s states renewed a campaign to outlaw the anti-immigrant National Democratic Party almost a decade after the country’s top court quashed a previous attempt because of tainted evidence.

Interior ministers from the 16 states voted unanimously to recommend the ban to state premiers, the government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania said on its website. The ministers cited risks to the legal prospects while expressing confidence that more than 1,000 pages of evidence collected since April will lead to a successful ban.

“The NPD’s goal is to eliminate our free, democratic social order using aggressive methods,” Lorenz Caffier, the state’s interior minister, said in the statement. “We can prove the NPD’s unconstitutionality and brutal aggression.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has yet to support a renewed attempt to ban the party, which has ties to neo-Nazi groups. The chancellor has “serious concerns” about the success of outlawing the NPD, government spokesman Georg Streiter said, while the federal interior minister, Hans-Peter Friedrich, said the new evidence provides a “good basis.”

Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court rejected an attempt by the state to ban the NPD in March 2003 because much of the evidence had been given by government informants. New material has been collected since April 1, when contacts with current informants were cut, according to the ministers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Donahue in Berlin at pdonahue1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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