Parliament slaps hefty fine on German neo-Nazi party

3rd April 2009, Comments 0 comments

The party is already in desperate financial straits with its leader, Udo Voigt, admitting in an interview last month the party was suffering an ‘existential crisis’ due to its lack of funds.

Berlin -- Germany's neo-Nazi NPD party, already on the verge of bankruptcy, was fined about 2.5 million euros Thursday by the country's parliament for accounting irregularities.

"The parliamentary administrative department has uncovered errors in the NPD's accounting statements for the year 2007," the Bundestag, Germany's lower house, said in a statement.

According to parliamentary procedure, the far-right party -- which receives public funding because of its score in recent elections -- must pay double what was incorrectly accounted for, in this case, just over 2.5 million euros (3.2 million dollars).

As the Bundestag has already blocked 300,000 euros in public funds due to be paid to the NPD, the party must pay out about 2.2 million euros -- by May 1.

The NPD is already in desperate financial straits with its leader, Udo Voigt, admitting in an interview last month the party was suffering an "existential crisis" due to its lack of funds.

In May last year, Berlin's administrative court ordered the party to return nearly one million euros in public funds after uncovering fraud in its accounts from 1997, 1998 and 1999.

A former party treasurer, Erwin Kemma, has been in jail since December 2008 for embezzling more than 700,000 euros.

The party is not in the Bundestag, but has representatives in two of Germany's powerful regional assemblies.

AFP/Expatica

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