Council blocks neo-Nazi conference with mud

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5 Apr, 2013 Updated Fri 5 Apr 2013 10:35 CEST
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The neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) had to fire all the staff at its Berlin headquarters due to money worries - and cancelled a party conference after a municipal authority refused to stop building works near its chosen venue.

In a bad week for the far-right party, seven full-time workers at the central office in Berlin were told their jobs were over on Wednesday due to financial problems - because the federal parliament, the Bundestag, stopped its funding.

This was because the party had failed to pay a fine of €1.27 million for mistakes in its accounting. The NPD had appealed against the fine and was expecting a decision on that in the coming few weeks, said Frank Franz, NPD spokesman.

He said the staff had two or three months before their jobs actually ended, and that they would be reactivated if the financial situation improved.

As a legally recognized political party the NPD receives funding from the state in proportion to the votes it gets in various elections and how many people are members. This has until now added up to around €300,000 for the NPD a quarter.

But this was stopped at the start of this year, and will not be resumed until the fine is paid or lifted.

Adding insult to injury, the party had to cancel its national conference due to be held this weekend in northern Bavaria. The local council of Coburg, where the NPD had booked a venue, started construction work there early this week, covering the road leading to it with tonnes of soil.

An attempt by the NPD to force the work to stop and access to be afforded was rejected by an administrative court on Thursday.

The party was furious, with a spokesman saying the refusal was "absurd official caprice" and said the meeting would be postponed.

DPA/The Local/hc



2013/04/05 10:35

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