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German gov't backs off banning far-right party

Monday - 3/18/2013, 1:28pm  ET

FRANK JORDANS
Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) -- German officials say the government will hold off seeking a ban on the country's biggest far-right party.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet had been split over whether to back a legal bid by Germany's 16 state governments to ban the National Democratic Party, or NPD.

A government official told The Associated Press on Monday that the Cabinet won't make a separate request to Germany's top court. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision won't be formally announced until Wednesday.

Ten years ago the Federal Constitutional Court rejected a ban of the NPD.

Germany's security services say the party promotes a racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic agenda that's unconstitutional.

The NPD receives more than EUR1 million ($1.33 million) in public funding annually because it has seats in two state parliaments.


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