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Last Updated: Friday, 11 March, 2005, 12:57 GMT
Germany beefs up anti-Nazi laws
NPD march in Dresden, 13 Feb 05
NPD march in Dresden: Support surged in Saxony
Germany's parliament has tightened restrictions on neo-Nazi marches to keep them away from sensitive memorials such as former concentration camps.

The changes make it easier for local authorities to ban such gatherings.

The new curbs target a planned march by the far right National Democratic Party (NPD) at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, near a new Holocaust memorial.

The 8 May march would coincide with the 60th anniversary of Germany's capitulation in World War II.

Germany's upper house of parliament still has to approve the changes.

But the government says it is determined to get them in place in time to prevent neo-Nazi demonstrations overshadowing the official May ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary.

Support for NPD

Last month, thousands of neo-Nazis marched through Dresden on the 60th anniversary of the allied bombing of the city.

Michael Regener, leader of banned group Landser
Singer Michael Regener's jail term was upheld
It was one of the biggest far-right demonstrations in Germany's post-war history.

Last year the NPD won 9% of the vote in Saxony, giving it seats in a German state assembly for the first time since 1968.

Germany already has laws to restrict neo-Nazi propaganda and Nazi symbols are banned.

On Thursday, Germany's highest court upheld a ruling that a neo-Nazi rock band was a criminal organisation whose songs spread racial hatred.

The German Constitutional Court rejected an appeal by the band's former lead singer, Michael Regener, against his three-year prison sentence.

Two years ago a Berlin court found the rock group Landser - meaning "foot soldiers" - guilty of spreading hatred of Jewish people and foreigners in Germany.

Landser's CDs included The Reich Will Rise Again and Get The Enemy.

Germans mark bombing of Dresden
13 Feb 05 |  Europe
Neo-Nazi bomb plot trial opens
24 Nov 04 |  Europe
Far right fuels German angst
20 Sep 04 |  Europe
Germans protest at reform plans
30 Aug 04 |  Business
Country profile: Germany
20 Jul 04 |  Country profiles

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