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Germany

Berlin Condemns Neo-Nazi Party

Just days away from the start of ceremonies to commemorate the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the German government on Monday condemned a far-right party, the NPD, after its members refused to observe a minute's silence for the victims of the Nazis, which was held in a regional parliament. "We must not tolerate this treacherous relativization and minimization of the Holocaust," said spokesman Hans-Herman Langguth. He said that Chancellor Gerhard Schröder had "learned with repugnance" of the protest. Langguth said any new attempt to ban the NPD would have to be examined very carefully. However on Monday, federal prosecutors said there was no basis to open any proceedings against the NPD. In March 2003, Germany's highest court threw out a government and parliament request to ban the neo-Nazi party for inciting racist violence, after a two-year legal wrangle. The constitutional court's decision came after it heard that some NPD members who gave evidence were police informers.

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