• Germany edition
 
Court allows surveillance of leftist politicians
Photo: DPA

Court allows surveillance of leftist politicians

Published: 21 Jul 2010 12:45 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 Jul 2010 18:21 GMT+02:00

A German federal court on Wednesday ruled the country's domestic intelligence services can keep tabs on members the socialist Left party using publicly available information.

The decision overturns a ruling by a state court in North Rhine-Westphalia, which had said it was not appropriate for Germany's intelligence agency the Verfassungsschutz to be gathering a file on The Left's Thuringia state party leader Bodo Ramelow.

Domestic intelligence officials consider parts of The Left's agenda against Germany's constitution, and the ruling by the federal court in Leipzig is a major setback for the far-left party's efforts to stop the government surveillance of its members.

“I cannot accept that the intelligence service legitimises itself in this way,” Ramelow told daily Mitteldeutsche Zeitung ahead of the proceedings.

Ramelow said that all of The Left’s federal parliamentarians are under watch by the Verfassungsschutz, calling the situation “scandalous.”

But Hans-Peter Uhl, interior policy spokesperson for the conservative Christian Democrats’ parliamentary group, said the far-left party was a risk to the state – though he made a distinction between the party its and democratically elected parliamentarians.

“Basically The Left should be observed because there's a constant flow between the party and left-wing extremists and some violent groups,” he told the paper, adding that the intelligence service should exercise caution when it came to those who legitimately held an office.

“Those are freely elected parliamentarians,” he said. “There needs to be a demarcation here.”

Meanwhile Green party leader Cem Özdemir said he supported the case by The Left, encouraging an end to the surveillance.

“I find that equating the Left with the (neo-Nazi) NPD or other extremist parties is a mistake overall,” he told daily Berliner Zeitung.

The Left is not conspiratorial, he said, explaining that its members openly engage in their activities and should also be judged as such on the political stage.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

23:15 July 21, 2010 by claudegaveau
:-) Looks like my post got taken down and the grammar mistakes were corrected.
23:34 July 21, 2010 by mikecowler
This surveylance happens in the UK too. The National Front Party which is extreme right wing and has had known thugs, and some extreme left unions...any threat to national security must be taken seriously...
08:01 July 22, 2010 by JAMessersmith
People often think of the ideological spectrum as a straight line; as if the extreme-left is on one side and the extreme-right is on the other. But it is actually more of a circle, and all extremists, whether right or left, tend to share more similarities than dissimilarities. They may fight each other violently in the streets, but they often use the same tactics against each other. In my opinion, people who haven't been brainwashed by one side or the other can perceive this irony, and generally fall under the moderate category, distrusting of both.
10:57 July 22, 2010 by Prufrock2010
George Orwell is smiling in his grave.
Today's headlines
Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal
Ingolf Deubel in court on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal

A former state finance minister was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday, having been found guilty of embezzling money in the scandal around the failed sale of the Nürburgring Formula One race track. READ () »

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment
A Bavarian worker works hard Photo: DPA

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment

Southern and central Bavaria have the lowest unemployment in the EU, according to figures released on Tuesday, with one business leader boasting the area has “de facto full employment”. READ () »

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare
Uli Hoeneß was jailed last month for tax evasion. Photo: DPA

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The number of German tax evaders who have self-declared to avoid prosecution trebled in the first quarter of 2014, figures published on Wednesday showed, with the rise put down to the "Uli Hoeneß effect". READ () »

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks

The German government rejected on Wednesday a call by two newspapers to remove Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against spiralling tensions in Ukraine. READ () »

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail
A Ukrainian policeman at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that scheduled four-way talks on the Ukraine crisis must not fail, warning of "the threat of more dead and injured". READ () »

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station
Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Photo: DPA

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station

Berlin's Olympic stadium could become the world's biggest polling station if the Turkish community gets the go-ahead to vote there in Turkey’s general elections. READ () »

The Local List
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: DPA

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German

From rolling wheels filled with burning hay down a hill, to waiting for a fox to bring eggs, The Local List this week looks at the nine best German Easter traditions. READ () »

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test
Horse? Photo: DPA

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test

Schoolchildren in western Germany came across horse meat while testing doner kebabs in a biology experiment. It comes a year after the horse meat scandal which showed much meat on sale in Europe had been mislabelled. READ () »

Private health insurance not worth it for workers
Photo: DPA

Private health insurance not worth it for workers

Thousands of employees paying into private health insurance in Germany get poor value for money, according to consumer experts - who recommend going private for just one group of workers. READ () »

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers
Free range? Photo: DPA

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers

UPDATE: A major producer of ethically certifified meat has admitted to defrauding thousands of customers for years by passing off conventional chicken as free range. But the brand said it took swift action to deal with the case. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Advertisement:
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,109
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd