Effort to ban German neo-Nazi party slowing


Efforts to promote a ban on a German neo-Nazi party have run into political hurdles.

Several German states failed to deliver their reports on anti-democratic activities by the National Democratic Party of Germany on March 31, as planned.

“I have no understanding for this way of dealing with the problem,” Charlotte Knobloch, the chairwoman of the Central Committee of German Jews, told reporters after learning that several states under the leadership of Christian Democratic governors would fail to meet the deadline.

Knobloch has been leading the call for the ban, which has received support from the Social Democratic Party.

Heads of the state and federal interior ministries are set to discuss the possibility of a ban in meetings scheduled for April 17 and 18. In 2003, an attempt to ban the party failed when the Constitutional Court found that much of the evidence came from informants who to some extent had used their own activities to prove the case.

The 7,000-member National Democratic Party attracts mostly disaffected young Germans through ethnocentrism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and hatred of America. In 2006, voters in the former East German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania gave the party 7.3 percent of the vote, passing the 5 percent threshold necessary for a seat in the state parliament. It became the fourth German state to have such parties in their local parliament in reunified Germany.

Only two parties have been banned in postwar Germany, both in the 1950s.

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