Sunday, February 06, 2005

Neo-Nazi support grows in Germany

In an interview in today´s Welt am Sonntag, opposition leader Edmund Stoiber puts the blame for the increased support of the neo-Nazi NPD squarely at the door of the German government.

Stoiber sees record unemployment figures as one of the main reasons for a growth in support for the extremists.

Unfortunately for Stoiber, the spin put on his pronouncements is unlikely to win new supporters for his own party. The government immediately rejected Stoiber´s "instrumentalisation" of the neo-Nazis. SPD boss Muentefering says that Nazis become strong thanks to the support of rich people in ties and suits, not the support of the unemployed.

A moot point, to put it mildly. Nevertheless, the political mainstream in Germany always reacts badly to uncomfortable comparisons with the Nazi period. It´s not really done to make such unwelcome comparisons. And although Stoiber´s remarks were relatively bland, the SPD repsonse is designed to make them seem irresponsible and beyond the pale. In this way the government will wriggle out of any attempt to discuss the scandal of over 5 million unemployed, something indeed unknown since Weimar times.
"Schr?ders Versagen hilft der NPD"

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