The Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, detailed thirteen measures to combat what she considers to be “the greatest threat to the democratic order”.
The government of Olaf Scholz presented on Tuesday a series of measures to combat the far right, notably by attacking its financing, in a Germany shocked after the revelation of a secret meeting planning the expulsion of foreigners from the country . Welcoming the recent mobilization of “hundreds of thousands of citizens” against extremists and racism – after the disclosure in January of this meeting – the Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, detailed thirteen measures to fight against 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”, declared Nancy Faeser, during a press conference in Berlin. In particular, she wants to extend the powers of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution – German domestic intelligence, editor’s note – so that it can fight more easily against the sources of financing of far-right networks. Thanks to a change in the law 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.
“Disarm” the extremists
Asked about the timetable for implementing such a measure, Nancy Faeser said: “as quickly as possible”. The minister also wants “disarm” right-wing extremists. Being a member of an organization considered suspicious by domestic intelligence can thus lead to the withdrawal of authorization to carry weapons. Semi-automatic weapons similar to weapons of war must be banned and crossbows will also be subject to authorization.
Domestic intelligence will also have to share more of its information on right-wing extremists 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. Nancy 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 in Potsdam, near Berlin, last November, where members of the far-right AfD party discussed the plans of an Austrian extremist advocating a “remigration” – a plan for the mass expulsion of foreigners or people of foreign origin – which triggered a shock wave in the country.