Germany to tighten noose on Neo-Nazi groups

Published 09.05.2019 00:08

The German eastern state of Saxony is considering taking measures against the rising neo-Nazi threat after uniformed right-wing extremists marched through the eastern town of Plauen on May Day. The interior minister for Saxony, Roland Wöller, announced a crackdown on neo-Nazi marches. "We want to push the limits of what is legally possible," Wöller said in the city of Dresden, the state capital of Saxony, as reported by Spiegel Online.

Earlier this month, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned that neo-Nazis must not be given space on the country's streets. On May Day, supporters of an extreme right-wing party marched through Plauen. Local authorities had allowed the event, as they did not regard the march as having any potential for intimidation, which would have been a prerequisite for police intervention according to Saxony's assembly law. That decision triggered criticism across Germany and abroad against the district and Saxony's state government. The eastern state has long had a problem with far-right groups.

Regarding the growth of far-right extremism, the risk of becoming a victim of a hate crime is 10 times higher for immigrants residing in cities in eastern Germany, according to a study. A report, released by the Leibniz Center for European Economic Research, a nonprofit institute based in Mannheim, found that the amount of experience local people share with immigrants is an important factor in understanding growing xenophobia and hate crimes in the country.

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