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Germany

Calls for NPD Ban Increase

The German government is coming under increasing pressure to renew an attempt to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD). Last week, ruling Social Democratic and Green politicians demanded a new case against the party. Now Christian Democratic secretary-general Volker Kauder has said he would welcome another try to ban the neo-Nazi party at the Constitutional Court. At the same time, Kauder attacked the center-left government of being jointly responsible for the rise of the NPD. "It's obvious that with 4.6 or 4.7 million unemployed that the people are irritated and uncertain. Then they tend to wander to extreme parties," said Kauder on German public television ZDF. The calls for another NPD trial have been met with skepticism by members from all parties. CDU parliamentarian Wolfgang Bosbach said in an interview with the Berliner Zeitung that no matter how anti-democratic, anti-Semitic and xenophobic the party may be, it must be proved that the NPD has an aggressive attitude towards the state. In March 2003, a similar attempt to ban the party failed when the Constitutional Court ruled that the federal government's use of informants within the NPD was illegal.

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