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Germany

Struggle Over Right of Assembly Bill

Parliamentary groups of the Social Democratic Party and the Green Party opposed a bill to tighten the right of assembly as suggested by Interior Minister Otto Schily's and Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries. According to Volker Beck, director of the Green Party parliamentary group, they do not agree with the proposed measures of aggravating sentences for the glorification of the despotic national-socialist rule and expanding the statutory offense of incitement of the masses as they were "too vaguely formulated" and thus might not be accepted by the Federal Constitutional Court. Therefore, the parliamentary groups adopted their own draft for the bill, which they intend to introduce to the lower house of parliament on Friday. Inspite of the opposition within their own ranks, the cabinet still discussed Schily's and Zypries' draft on Wednesday, which they plan to present to the Bundestag on Friday as well. The bill is supposed to be passed in time to prevent neo-Nazi marches at Berlin ceremonies for the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II on May 8.

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