Saturday, September 16, 2006

Far-Right Gains Expected In German State Election

By David Crossland

Germany's neo-Nazi National Democratic Party is set to make strong gains in an eastern state election on Sept. 17.

Nationwide, far-right extremists remains marginalized, but the NPD's regional successes are an embarrassment to Germany and a warning that xenophobia is rife in the economically depressed east.

This weekend could be potentially embarrassing for Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel, as voters go to the polls in two state elections.

Opinion polls indicate the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) will get 6 percent or 7 percent, above the minimum 5 percent needed to enter the state assembly in Merkel's home state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, a rural region known chiefly for its beautiful Baltic Sea coastline.

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