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Bavarian interior minister wants Left party watched

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Bavarian interior minister wants Left party watched
Photo: DPA
14:01 CET+01:00
Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann has declared his intention to continue having the Bavarian Left party observed by Germany's constitutional protection office.

Herrmann, of Bavaria's ruling Christian Social Union (CSU), the sister party to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told news agency DDP that he believed the socialist Left party to be "partly anti-constitutional."

Among other points, Herrmann said the Left party leadership supported "the cooperation with violent left-wing extremists." He added that there had been no development in the party which "offers a reason to stop observation by the constitutional protection office."

Herrmann expressed concern over the rising wave of left-wing violence in Germany, directed primarily at police officers as representatives of the state.

"It is a shame that left-wing violence is not condemned in public life with the same force as right-wing violence," Herrmann said. "Sometimes it is even trivialised." He added that fighting neo-Nazi violence did not justify supporting potentially violent people.

He called for government programmes aimed at combatting right-wing extremism to be implemented for left-wing extremism as well.

Hans-Peter Friedrich, chairman of the CSU's national committee in the German parliament, accused Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit of not doing enough against the recent spate of car-burnings in the capital. "The city should not trivialise this politically motivated criminality," he said in parliament. "The borders with terrorism are fluid when it comes to car-burning."

Herrmann also repeated his call for a ban on the far-right nationalist party the NPD. The NPD "must disappear from the political map," Herrmann said, "Any legal means for achieving this are justified."

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