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German Court Decision: Funding Cut for Radical Right Party | World News – Times of India

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KARLSRUHE: Germany can cut off state funding to the successor party to the far-right NPD even though it is not banned, the Constitutional Court said on Tuesday in a landmark ruling which adds fuel to a debate about whether the nationalist AfD party may be penalised.
The court in Karlsruhe justified its decision by saying the National Democratic Party (NPD) and its successor, Die Heimat, aimed to undermine or eliminate the country’s democratic system.
The Bundestag lower house, the Bundesrat upper house and the government applied in 2019 to the court to strip the party of funding after Germany’s Basic Law was changed to prevent radical parties from getting state funds other parties are entitled to.
“(Die Heimat) aims to replace the existing constitutional system with an authoritarian state based on an ethnic ‘people’s community’,” said the court, adding its ideas disrespected the human dignity of minorities and migrants.
In 2017 the court said the NPD resembled Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party but decided not to ban it because it was too weak to threaten democracy.
The ruling is being closely watched as mainstream politicians struggle to respond to a surge in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), second in most polls with support of about 22%.
Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said it sent a signal that anti-democratic forces would not be funded by the state.
“The decision comes at a time when right-wing extremism is the greatest extremist threat to our democracy,” she said in a statement. “We are taking decisive action against all those who are preparing the ground for right-wing extremist violence.”
A report that some party members discussed policies such as mass deportations of people of foreign origin at a meeting of right-wing radicals prompted hundreds of thousands of people to take to the streets across Germany in protest.
The AfD has said the “remigration” plans are not party policy but intelligence agencies had already classified the party as right-wing extremist in three eastern states.
Some mainstream politicians have floated a possible ban on the AfD, withholding funding for it or removing the rights of some individuals in the party to prevent them being elected.
The exclusion of Die Heimat from state party funding for six years means the party would no longer benefit from tax concessions. It is widely reported to have saved around 200,000 euros in tax since 2020 due to tax-free inheritances.
Other parties are entitled to public money according to how many votes they win in European, federal or state elections but Die Heimat has failed to cross the threshold to qualify.





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