Germany’s Scholz warns against rise of neo-Nazi networks


BERLIN – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has voiced con­cerns over the rise of far-right extremism as his country marks Holo­caust Memorial Day.

He warned of “neo-Nazis and their dark networks”, and called on people to fight rac­ism and anti-Semitism.

Thousands marched in Dusseldorf on Satur­day in the latest in a se­ries of protests against the far right.

They follow reports that se­nior figures of the AfD joined discussions on deporting citizens of foreign origins.

Germany is grap­pling with a debate over whether to ban far-right political parties.

In a pre-recorded speech marking 79 years since the Aus­chwitz extermination camp was liberated by Soviet troops, he said: “New reports are emerging all the time: about neo-Nazis and their dark networks. At the same time, right-wing populists are gaining ground, fu­elling fear and sowing hatred.”

“But this develop­ment is not something we simply have to ac­cept,” said Mr Scholz, as he called on Germans to stand up against the far right and protect Ger­many’s democracy.

“Our country is on its feet right now. Mil­lions of citizens are taking to the streets in favour of democracy, respect and humanity for one another. After all, that’s what it’s all about. It is the cohe­sion of democrats that makes our democracy strong. Showing it confidently in public – as is happening now – feels good.”

Mr Scholz also wel­comed a landmark rul­ing to cut funding to the radical right-wing party, Die Heimat. On Wednes­day, Germany’s con­stitutional court ruled that the party should be barred from receiv­ing further state fund­ing and tax breaks that German parties legally receive.

The ruling also marks the first time that Germany has cut state financial support for a party without banning it. Germany has seen widespread demonstra­tions against far-right extremism following revelations.__The Nation