A series of financial irregularities uncovered in the NPD’s finances means the party may have to return millions in government funds it receives as a legitimate political party. If that happens, the party’s chances in next year’s regional elections will be “shrunk considerably,” said Winfriede Schreiber, the head of Brandenburg’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which is charged with monitoring extremist groups.
The party currently holds seats in several regional parliaments in former East German states. The NPD hopes to expand it’s margins further in upcoming elections in Brandenburg and Thüringen, as it did in elections this year in Saxony.
Schreiber said that in addition to the financial problems, the NPD’s membership is fracturing because some elements don’t believe the party’s line is radical enough, which has already lead to members abandoning the party.
But despite the developments, Schreiber warned that it wasn’t time to sound the all-clear about the NPD and that it could still pose a threat.
On Saturday, about 800 NPD supporters and neo-Nazis marched through an East Berlin suburb, followed by 1,000 left-wing counter-demonstrators and 1,600 police officers. At least 60 counter-demonstrators were arrested for throwing bottles and other objects at the NPD march.