German MP worried about police and Nazis

Sept. 12, 2006 at 8:28 AM
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BERLIN, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A former German parliamentary president has criticized the German police for being too lax when prosecuting neo-Nazis.

The criticism came after police let two neo-Nazis go after they had beaten a young student politician who was putting up campaign posters for the Social Democratic Party, the center-left party that makes up half of Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition. Only after significant political pressure were they taken into custody.

The incident proved that the "police still does not act clearly and resolutely enough," Wolfgang Thierse, a top Social Democrat and former parliamentary president, told the Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper.

Germany's capital has recently seen several far-right motivated crimes amid Berlin's ongoing regional election campaigns. Neo-Nazis have repeatedly attacked the information stands of other parties to intimidate voters, observers say.

The far-right parties generally have little chance for a good result in Berlin, a city-state dominated by left-wing voters.

Berlin has upped its police presence in the city ahead of the elections, which will take place next Sunday.

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