Defunding Values

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Germany’s highest court ruled this week that a small far-right party will be ineligible for state funding for six years due to its alleged unconstitutional values and goals, a verdict that comes amid protests and concerns over extreme-right political groups in the country, Euronews reported.

The case centers on the state funding of the Die Heimat party – or the Homeland in German – which was known as the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD).

The German government and parliament took the party to court, accusing it of promoting racist ideologies, including anti-Islamic and antisemitic sentiments.

In its ruling, the Federal Constitutional Court found that Die Heimat “continues to disregard the free democratic basic order and, according to its goals and the behavior of its members and supporters, is aimed at its elimination.”

Presiding Judge Doris Koenig said Die Heimat’s political concept conflicts with Germany’s constitution, adding that it promotes an ethnic definition of German identity that violates human dignity by discriminating against foreigners, migrants, and minorities.

Despite previous attempts by the government to ban Die Heimat, the court’s decision now bars the party from receiving state funding.

The court’s decision follows recent concerns about the rising popularity of the far-right in Germany, particularly the Alternative for Germany (AfD).

The anti-immigrant and Eurosceptic party has gained popularity in recent months, ranking second in recent polls. Analysts noted that the AfD has gained traction as a result of the rising costs of living, perceived increased immigration and public disappointment over Germany’s ruling three-party coalition.

Calls to ban or cut financial support for the AfD have emerged but have not been pursued seriously.

Even so, tens of thousands of people protested against the AfD this week, following a report some of the party’s members attended a secret November meeting where they allegedly discussed deporting foreigners and foreign-born Germans.

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