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German president has right to call neo-Nazis ‘loonies’ – top court

Published time: June 11, 2014 13:32
German President Joachim Gauck.(AFP Photo / David Gannon)

German President Joachim Gauck.(AFP Photo / David Gannon)

The German top court has decided that the country’s President Joachim Gauck can call members of neo-Nazis ‘loonies’, in response to a complaint by the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD).

It follows a comment the president made to students after a German anti-immigrant party protested against a new refugee center.

The complaint by the anti-immigrant party was dismissed by the Federal Constitutional Court, the Local reported.

The party, which is officially represented in two eastern states' legislatures, argued that the president should refrain from judgment and remain neutral in domestic politics.

However, the court disagreed with the fringe party, which has about 6,000 members and scored just 1.3 per cent of the votes at the national elections last September.

"Specific statements by the federal president can only be objected to before the courts if the federal president takes sides in a way that clearly neglects the integrative task of his office, and thus takes sides in an arbitrary manner," it said in a statement.

"This was not the case here," the statement added.

President Gauck, once a Christian pro-democracy activist in East Germany, commented to students on the party after it staged the demonstrations against the refugee center in East Berlin last August.

"We need citizens who rally in the streets and put these loonies in their place," Gauck stated.

The court confirmed that the statement could be regarded as defamatory, but also noted that “the term ‘loonies’ serves as a collective term for people who have not learned the lessons of history and who, unimpressed by the dreadful consequences of National Socialism, hold nationalist and anti-democratic opinions."

Germany's upper house of parliament is working on a case before the constitutional court to ban the NPD, which was founded in 1964 as a successor to the neo-fascist German Reich Party, AFP reported.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman labeled the group an "anti-democratic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-constitutional party."

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, a domestic security watchdog, has the party under observation.

Comments (11)

 

RockyRacoon 09.07.2014 17:21

Radicalized Fascism i.e. Nazism is a virulent form of discourse as repulsive as Zionism-there is no room in civilized society for such currents that seek to destroy particularly organized labour-they seek to atomize the working class smash organized labour Privatize Public goods and lower wages-they are tools usually comprised of Lumpen and sinking middle class who see no future for their sons and daughters in the mythical Middle or professional sector-they both depend on the state and hate the state at the same time as their role is mainly gatekeeper which is turned over to brown shirts during profitability crisis.

 

snidelaw 12.06.2014 03:28

No hint of iroony

 

BWAAAHAAA 12.06.2014 02:56

This would be an odd article if Germany didnt jail people for name calling.

View all comments (11)
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