German far-right party to pay million euro fine | News | DW | 12.12.2012
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German far-right party to pay million euro fine

A German court has ruled that the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) must pay a penalty of 1.27 million euros for submitting a faulty financial returns report in 2007. The decision was the third and final ruling.

Instead of the 2.5 million euro ($3.27 million) fine demanded by the German Parliament, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled Wednesday for the NPD to pay a 1.27 million euro penalty for a false 2007 financial statement.

The decision by the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig was the third and final ruling.

Despite the mitigated fine, the decision was still a financial blow to the far-right party. In recent years, the party has logged heavy losses despite the fact that state funds have made up almost half of the NPD's total revenue.

Support to ban the NPD

The heads of Germany's 16 federal states unanimously agreed last week to push ahead with a legal bid to ban the NPD despite reservations from Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Bundesrat, Parliament's upper house which represents the federal states, will vote on Dec. 14 on whether to file a case with the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe.

The last attempt to ban the party was rejected in the Constitutional Court in 2003.

The NPD currently holds seats in two state parliaments: Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony, both in eastern Germany.

Nationwide, the NPD polls well below the 5 percent hurdle required to guarantee parliamentary representation, though it is strong in some states and municipalities - especially in the states that comprised former East Germany.

hc/kms (AFP, Reuters, dpa, epd)