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Social Democratic leader pushes for far-right party ban

The Local · 31 Jul 2011, 12:16

Published: 31 Jul 2011 12:16 GMT+02:00

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"I have long been for an NPD ban," Gabriel told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

"No one can explain why their rabble-rousing has to be supported by taxpayers," he added, referring to campaign financing laws that entitle the party to government funds.

Social Democratic Party (SPD) Vice-Chairman Olaf Scholz would also like to see the party made illegal, telling the Hamburger Abendblatt last week that the NPD isn’t “compatible” with Germany’s constitution.

The debate over an NPD ban resurfaced in the wake of the mass killings in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik, who espouses far-right views and claims to have contacts with other European extreme-right political groups.

But conservatives have expressed opposition to beginning another legal process to ban the party.

A previous government petition to ban the NPD failed in 2003 after Germany's highest court refused to grant a main hearing in the case, saying the government had placed informants in high-ranking positions in the party, which did not past muster with constitutional experts.

This weekend, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich criticized Gabriel's position, saying "whoever raises the issue of an NPD ban right after the incident in Norway is exploiting, or even abusing, this tragic event for his own political ends."

Even within the SPD the matter is controversial. The party's domestic affairs spokesman in parliament, Dieter Wiefelspütz, told the Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper that banning the far-right party as well as taking away its party financing privileges would be constitutionally problematic.

Story continues below…

In addition, he said, there is no political majority for a ban.

But there is a majority among Germans. According to a poll by the Emnid group commissioned by the Bild am Sonntag, 68 percent would like to see a ban enacted, while 24 percent are against one.

DAPD/DPA/The Local/kdj

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:48 July 31, 2011 by makivali
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:09 July 31, 2011 by harcourt

Do you mean that you could be persuaded to vote for the NPD, or that you definitely don't like the NPD ?
17:31 July 31, 2011 by Louis Prince
The problem with the SPD is intelligence, or the lack there of. The other parties know that the NPD is not realy a political problem and to keep them slightly content, by allowing them to take part in elections, might ensure a bit of peace with the far-right groups. To ban them would have no effect on politics and may result in terrorism, so keep them content and don't stir the pot.
21:29 July 31, 2011 by MaKo
Gabriel has a point. A lot of people whose taxed income goes to fund this "party" are the very people this group rants against.
21:57 July 31, 2011 by ChrisRea
How big are these funds that parties are entitled to? If they are significant, would giving up this funding for all parties be a reasonable solution?
23:01 July 31, 2011 by Struwel
"Germany¦#39;s political parties finance their activities in line with the PPA, through state funding, membership fees and donations. Sponsorship has recently drawn attention as a fourth but still minor source of revenue. In order to be eligible for state funding, parties must win at least 0.5% of votes in federal or EU elections and 1% in federal state elections. Every vote up to a 4 million cutoff point results in a state contribution to the party of €0.85; votes above that receive €0.70. Additionally, individual donations up to €3,300 are matched by the state with €0.38 per euro collected." (http://www.sgi-network.org/index.php?page=indicator_quali&indicator=S1_4)

In 2010 the NPD received € 1,176,446 (in contrast the CDU, they got the most, received € 42,882,008 in 2010).

I would not ban the NDP. We are living in a democracy and it seems to me that all voices should be heard. As well, to ban the NDP is not really a solution. Only the people can achieve a solution - by not voting the NDP. Which hopefully results in that the party will be vanished some day.
09:36 August 1, 2011 by freechoice
Oh my God! I didn't know I have been funding a Neo Nazi Party for the past 6 years!! God forgive me for my sins!
16:06 August 1, 2011 by Joe Wutbürger
Which part of "Democratic" does the Social Democratic Leader not understand?
16:52 August 1, 2011 by Johnne
lol:... it´s funny how some people, non german, non jewish, not of immigrants, coloured people/ethnic monority use "democracy" to tolerate what is totally undemocratic. It´s a great shame and ignorance if they don´t ban the NPD in this country.
18:41 August 1, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
When does it stop if one starts banning this party or that party?
21:39 August 2, 2011 by Kennneth Ingle
One can understand that Gabriel would like to ban the NPD, it is a small party, but one which, although not being suitable to take part in the government of Germany, puts salt into the wounds of other parties.

The SPD has lost a lot of voters, but is hardly likely to get them back by banning competitors. A ban does not change the way people think. The DKP and the KDP was also just a change of label. .

The murderer in Norway not only claims to be "Right Wing," but also Christian and he was Freemason. Should these groups also be banned. Why not also the far left Intifa? They, just like the Neo-nazis, have members who are ready to use violence for political reasons.

Had the history of Germany been so presented and taught in schools as it really was, the current arguments - of both left and right extremists - would lose much of the support they receive from young Germans. These radical groups would then probably disintegrate from within.
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