Germany's Battle Against Far-Right Extremism

The German government presented today a series of measures in the fight against the extreme right, especially targeting its finances

by Sededin Dedovic
Germany's Battle Against Far-Right Extremism
© Sean Gallup / Getty Images

In response to the recent revelation of a secret meeting between various extremist groups and organizations, the German government introduced a series of measures aimed at combating far-right extremism, particularly targeting its finances.

The background for these actions is the appearance of a secret meeting where plans for the expulsion of foreigners were presented, which caused concern about the rise of radical ideologies within the nation. Acknowledging a recent rally by "several hundred thousand citizens" against extremism and racism, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser today outlined 13 measures to counter what she sees as "the greatest threat to the democratic order".

"Our goal is to dismantle these far-right networks. Our goal is to deny them income, we want to disarm them," the minister told reporters in Berlin, emphasizing the government's determination to confront extremist elements directly.

She advocated expanding the powers of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's domestic intelligence agency, to make it easier to crack down on the sources of funding for far-right networks. Through changes to the Intelligence Act, it should become possible to close bank accounts simply by citing a "potential danger" to public order and peace.

Currently, investigators only have such powers if organizations or networks explicitly and directly incite hatred or violence. The minister emphasized the urgency of implementing these measures. According to her, participation in organizations deemed suspicious by domestic intelligence could lead to the withdrawal of members' firearms licenses.

Furthermore, domestic intelligence will be required to share more information about far-right extremists with local police and labor inspection authorities. This measure is intended to enable a ban on far-right meetings. The minister also expressed her intention to prevent extremists from entering Germany from abroad.

These measures are a direct response to a secret meeting held in Potsdam, near Berlin, last November. During the rally, members of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party discussed the plans of an Austrian extremist who advocates "remigration", meaning the mass expulsion of foreigners.

In light of these developments, the German government is taking decisive steps to protect its democratic values and ensure the security and inclusiveness of its society. By targeting the financial infrastructure and operational capacity of far-right groups, the authorities aim to disrupt their ability to propagate hatred and violence.

However, while these measures are critical to countering the immediate threats posed by far-right extremism, long-term strategies that focus on education, community engagement and social cohesion are just as crucial.