German extreme rightists lose members

4th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

4 March 2005, BERLIN - Germany's extreme rightwing parties have clearly lost membership with the major exception of the National Democratic Party (NPD) which has gained entry into one state parliament, the Berlin government said. In a response to a query posed by the opposition liberal Free Democrats (FDP), the government said that the NPD did lose membership a few years earlier when Germany had unsuccessfully sought to have the party banned. At the time, the NPD lost around 1,000 of its membership then of

4 March 2005

BERLIN - Germany's extreme rightwing parties have clearly lost membership with the major exception of the National Democratic Party (NPD) which has gained entry into one state parliament, the Berlin government said.

In a response to a query posed by the opposition liberal Free Democrats (FDP), the government said that the NPD did lose membership a few years earlier when Germany had unsuccessfully sought to have the party banned.

At the time, the NPD lost around 1,000 of its membership then of some 6,100, the government said, according to a report issued by German federal press office.

But after the NPD gained entry in the Saxony state parliament last year, membership has again been rising, the report said.

However, other parties have been losing members. The extreme rightist Republicans saw their membership drop from 14,000 in 1999 to around 8,000 in 2003 amid internal party squabbles and defeats at the ballot box, the government said. It said this trend is continuing.

Another party, the "German Peoples Union" (DVU), also had been unable to compensate for the loss of older members by attracting younger people, the report said.

Amid pressure kept up by the authorities banning extreme rightist associations, the neo-Nazi scene has now gone over to regrouping itself into so-called "comradeships". In 2003, there were 160 such groups with some 3,000 members.

At the same time, there was a slight decline between 2001 and 2003 in "politically rightwing-motivated criminal deeds" and crimes with an anti-foreigner motivation, the government said.

DPA

Subject: German news

 

 

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