Germany attacks far-right funding and weapons

In a country still shocked by the revelation of the holding of a secret meeting of far-right leaders who planned the expulsion of foreigners from the country, the government of Olaf Scholz presented a series of measures to combat the far right, in particular by attacking its financing, Tuesday February 13

Germany attacks far-right funding and weapons

In a country still shocked by the revelation of the holding of a secret meeting of far-right leaders who planned the expulsion of foreigners from the country, the government of Olaf Scholz presented a series of measures to combat the far right, in particular by attacking its financing, Tuesday February 13.

Welcoming the recent mobilization of “hundreds of thousands of citizens” against the extreme right and racism throughout Germany, in reaction to the revelation of this meeting, the Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, detailed thirteen measures to fighting what she considers to be “the greatest threat to the democratic order.” “We want to destroy these far-right networks. We want to deprive them of their income, we want to take away their weapons,” she said at a press conference in Berlin.

These measures aim in particular to extend the powers of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution – German domestic intelligence – so that it can more easily fight against the sources of financing of far-right networks. Thanks to a change in the legislation on the secret services, it should be possible to close bank accounts, simply by invoking the possibility of a “potential threat” to public order.

At the moment, investigators only have this power if organizations or networks incite hatred or violence. Asked about the timetable for implementing the measure, Faeser said it would be “as quickly as possible”.

“Disarm” the far right

The minister also wants to “disarm” far-right activists. Being a member of an organization considered suspicious by domestic intelligence can thus lead to the withdrawal of authorization to carry weapons. The government therefore plans that semi-automatic weapons similar to weapons of war will be banned and that crossbows will also be subject to authorization.

Domestic intelligence will also have to share more of its information on members of the far right with local police and labor inspection authorities. A decision which should make it possible to more systematically ban far-right meetings, particularly those which take place clandestinely. Faeser is also keen to prevent extremists from coming to Germany from abroad.

These last two measures are to be interpreted as a direct reaction to the clandestine meeting held in Potsdam, near Berlin, last November, where several officials of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party discussed the plans of an Austrian extremist advocating a “remigration” – a planned mass expulsion of foreign people or people of foreign origin – which triggered a shock wave in the country. Her outfit was revealed on January 10 by the German investigative site Correctiv.