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Eastern states focus on the finances of right-wing extremists

Georg Maier (SPD), Minister of the Interior of Thuringia, sits in the plenary chamber before the start of the session of the Thuringian state parliament / Photo: Martin Schutt/dpa
Georg Maier (SPD), Minister of the Interior of Thuringia, sits in the plenary chamber before the start of the session of the Thuringian state parliament / Photo: Martin Schutt/dpa

The eastern German states are already cooperating in the fight against right-wing extremism - now cooperation is to be intensified. There is also agreement on the topics of migration and anti-Semitism.

The eastern German states want to cooperate more closely in the fight against right-wing extremism. This was agreed by the interior ministers of Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt at a meeting in Halle on Friday. The focus is to be placed, for example, on the financing channels of right-wing extremists and Reich citizens, particularly with regard to the acquisition of real estate, said Saxony's Interior Minister Armin Schuster (CDU).

In a cross-state network of experts, representatives of the ministries, state police forces and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution have exchanged information this year, particularly on right-wing extremist concerts, the use of real estate, the financial structures of the right-wing extremist scene and right-wing extremist martial arts events. This work is to be developed further. According to Schuster, there is already an offensive against right-wing rock concerts and an initial downward trend can be seen.

Thuringia's Minister of the Interior Georg Maier (SPD) emphasized that the "Taskforce Versammlungslagen" has been able to prevent right-wing rock festivals in his state since 2019. "Through regular exchanges, we benefit from the experiences of the investigating authorities in eastern Germany," said Maier.

Länder see federal government as having a duty with regard to migration

Ahead of the Minister Presidents' Conference on Monday, the interior ministers also called for more commitment in migration policy. "In order to noticeably limit illegal migration to Europe, there must be a final agreement on the reform of the Common European Asylum System by the end of this year," said Saxony-Anhalt Interior Minister Tamara Zieschang (CDU). This includes effective border protection and the introduction of mandatory asylum procedures at Europe's external borders. "The federal government has a duty to actively drive forward the discussions in Brussels. In view of the high number of arrivals, Europe and Germany cannot afford to postpone this indefinitely."

To combat people smuggling, Thuringia's Interior Minister Maier also called for greater international cooperation and increased border controls. Schuster also emphasized that border controls are needed as long as the migration pressure at the borders is high.

In a joint statement, the interior ministers also condemned the attack by the terrorist organization Hamas on Israel on 7 October. At the same time, they pledged to protect Jewish life in eastern Germany. Zieschang said it was shocking that anti-Semitic hatred and inhumane incitement was also spreading in Germany. "There is no place for that here! We must do everything in our power to protect Jewish life in Germany - the interior ministries and state police forces are committed to this."

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