Germany to expand fight against right-wingers

8th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

9 January 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Faced with an increase in right-wing crime at home, Germany plans to use its presidency of the EU to work for a pan- European approach against politically motivated criminals, Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said. "We are concerned at the growth in cross-border activities of right-wing radicals and hooligans," Zypries said in an interview with the daily newspaper Bild. "Our intention is to launch a new effort as soon as possible during the EU presidency to achieve uniform s

9 January 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Faced with an increase in right-wing crime at home, Germany plans to use its presidency of the EU to work for a pan- European approach against politically motivated criminals, Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said.

"We are concerned at the growth in cross-border activities of right-wing radicals and hooligans," Zypries said in an interview with the daily newspaper Bild.

"Our intention is to launch a new effort as soon as possible during the EU presidency to achieve uniform standards in combating right-wing extremism," she said.

Zypries said previous attempts to reach such a consensus failed because of objections from Italy.

"But the new government in Rome has indicated its willingness to go along with the new plans," Zypries said.

Zypries' remarks come amid new figures that show a sharp rise in right-wing crime in Germany.

Some 11,254 offences attributed to rightists were committed in the first 11 months of 2006, about 1,000 more than in the same period of 2005, according to provisional police statistics.

On Saturday, suspected right-wing extremists hurled firebombs through the window of a home for asylum seekers in the eastern German town of Sangerhausen. Residents put out the blaze and no one was injured.

Prosecutors issued arrest warrants for two members of the local neo-Nazi scene on charges of attempted murder and arson.

In the Bild interview, Zypries also promised intensive efforts to boost cooperation between national security and law enforcement agencies within the EU.

"German security services already have computer access to criminal data banks in France, Belgium and Spain," she said. "This makes it more difficult for criminals to find sanctuary abroad."

Zypries said she would undertake efforts in the coming months to see if it was possible to link up the police databases of other EU members.

Germany assumed the six-month rotating president of EU on January 1.

DPA

Subject: German news

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