Calls for ban on neo-Nazi NPD grow

Calls for ban on neo-Nazi NPD grow
Photo: DPA
The recent stabbing of Passau police chief Alois Mannichl has renewed the political pressure in Germany to introduce a ban on the neo-Nazi NPD party.

“The NPD needs to be banned. After Passau, the federal government and the states need to discuss a new initiative against the party. And it needs to be successful,” state premier of Thuringia Dieter Althaus (CDU) told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Bavarian premier Horst Seehofer (CSU) told the weekly paper on Sunday he was working on a new plan to bring together the different states and discuss a possible ban in Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat. Other politicians have declared their support.

Seehofer also called for more police force to be used against far-right wing extremists: “We have to stop the right-wing beast now. We cannot tolerate another situation where violent protesters outnumber the police on on so-called ‘hero-commemoration days.’ We can lose a few road checks for that.”

The German association of trade unions (DGB) has also demanded more action against the NPD. DGB board member Annelie Buntenbach told the news agency DDP that a ban on the party is “overdue.” She said she was outraged that the NPD can even finance its “anti-constitutional propaganda” with taxpayer money. “It is state-funded National Socialism,” she said.

But Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has registered a note of caution, pointing out that previous attempts to ban the NPD have been dismissed by the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe. “We cannot begin another process of setting up a ban without being sure we are going to win,” he told Bild am Sonntag.

Buntenbach dismissed this argument as prevarication. For her, and for an increasing number of Germans, the NPD represents a danger to democracy. According to a recent poll by the researchers Emnid, 65 percent of Germans are in favour of a ban.