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Germany

Far-right Crime Reaches Record High

Germany saw a drastic increase in far-right crime last year with more than 12,000 incidents reported, the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel said Wednesday citing government data to be published next month. The report said that 12,051 such crimes had been recorded in 2004, marking the highest figure since 2000 and a more than 10 percent rise over 2003. The tally includes 776 violent attacks -- also the highest number since 2000 when 15,951 right-wing extremist incidents were reported, including 998 violent crimes. Police also cited a sharp rise in neo-Nazi and other far-right propaganda crimes to 8,337 cases from 7,554 in 2003, including showing the straight-armed Nazi salute and distributing writings that glorify Adolf Hitler's regime. Interior Minister Otto Schily is to present data on right-wing extremist crime in mid-May at the same time the annual report from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's domestic intelligence agency, is published. The interior ministry and the federal crime office declined to confirm or deny the accuracy of the Tagesspiegel report.

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