The German city of Dresden has declared a “Nazi emergency” — with local lawmakers citing years of increased far-right extremism in the area, according to a new report.
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Dresden city councilors passed a resolution this week warning that the strength of the movement was growing, CNN reported. The move is symbolic and has no legal consequences.
“For years, politicians have failed to position themselves clearly and unequivocally against the right-wing extremists, and to outlaw them,” councilor Max Aschenbach told CNN.
“There is a serious problem — similar to the climate emergency — with right-wing extremism right up to the middle of society,” he said.
Dresden, in Germany’s east, is where anti-Islam protests broke out in the wake of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.
A far-right movement called Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West first emerged in Dresden in 2013 and still holds rallies regularly in the city, according to the report.
Far right party Alternative for Deutschland also won 27.5 percent of the vote there in this year’s state election.
The “Nazi emergency” vote passed Dresden’s city council on Wednesday, 39 votes to 29.
The center-right Christian Democratic Union party, which voted against the resolution, called it an “intended provocation.”
Jan Donhauser, chairman of the CDU group on the council, told CNN the resolution was damaging to Dresden’s reputation and denied there was an emergency.
“The choice of words in the title of the application does not do justice to the realities in our city: the vast majority of Dresdeners are neither right-wing extremists nor anti-democratic,” Donhauser said.