Public Service: Check out right-wing extremists? Wesser’s plan encounters stiff resistance

meIn the years from 2018 to 2021, more suspected cases of right-wing extremism were registered in the federal and state police authorities, customs, the Bundeswehr and the Federal Intelligence Service than in the previous survey period.

According to the current status report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, investigations have begun in 860 cases after information was received about employees of the security authorities. In the previous survey there were 319 suspected cases. According to the current report, indications of right-wing extremism were found in 327 employees. This is about nine times the number of cases in the first management report.

According to the information, so far 500 labor and disciplinary measures have been initiated, and in some cases, criminal proceedings and layoffs have been initiated. “We will remove enemies of the constitution from public service more quickly than before,” said Interior Minister Nancy Visser. A corresponding invoice will be submitted later this year.

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The current numbers, which, however, are also the result of extensive and more targeted investigations, are also dramatic because personnel in security authorities can pose a certain potential risk: “They have specialized knowledge, have access to sensitive data and possibly weapons,” Pfizer explained.

“The development described in the current status report is very dangerous from a political point of view,” said extremism researcher Hago Funk Welt am Sonntag. “We are now seeing that algae-like networks, that is, clandestine networks that are difficult to identify, have emerged among the personnel of the security authorities and the center of the far right.” In the past, politicians and authorities did not do enough. The two status reports presented could “be just the beginning and part of the solution”.

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Visser announced that the federal and state governments would consult on extending controls to the entire public service. This can also include employees of state administrations or teachers. There are approximately five million public sector employees nationwide.

Already in 2019 the interior ministers of the federal states had decided “to monitor the entire public service and to expand the scope of the survey to include it after harmonizing and sharpening methods and procedures”. Police representatives will support a similar measure under certain circumstances. However, according to information from WELT AM SONNTAG, there is tremendous resistance to a comprehensive audit in the public sector.

A clear rejection from all sides

“Anyone who wants to be employed by the state should ask the intelligence agency to protect the constitution, not just the security authorities,” says Rainer Wendt, head of the German police union. However, the union refuses to “single out” one professional group, such as the police, because it denigrates the employees there from the start and puts them under public suspicion. If so, everyone in the public service should be vetted.

Representatives of teachers and educators, among others, oppose this. It has now been 50 years since the Radicals Decree came into effect, and 3.5 million people have been examined in this context. “We can’t go back to these practices, some of which have led to espionage,” GEW President Mike Veneren said. And the union leader demands: “It will be more important than constantly checking millions of employees to work in suspected cases.”

“It’s shocking how many right-wing extremists legally own guns”

Thomas Haldenwang, head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, sees the Ten Points Plan against Right-Wing Extremism prepared by Federal Home Secretary Nancy Visser (SPD) as “a new impetus for our activities against right-wing extremism”. Among other things, prioritizing the confiscation of legitimate weapons is new.

Data protection advocates also criticize the examination of extremism in the public service: “Such an approach would not be compatible with the data protection principles of the Basic Law, because regular inquiries are neither necessary nor appropriate,” says Baden-Württemberg Data Protection Officer Stefan Brink.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a “teacher, policeman, judge or prosecutor”

Meanwhile, Thuringia’s Interior Minister Georg Mayer (SPD) defends the planned revisions – but also points to a possible compromise: “Anyone who wants to work for a democratic state, be it a teacher, a police officer or a judge, must Or an attorney general, that a clear and explicit commitment to a free democratic statute that he recognizes in order to verify this, there is no need to automatically query all applicants to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution,” Mayer told WELT AM SONNTAG. “You should be able to turn on the Office for the Protection of the Constitution when doubts arise.”

Lower Saxony Interior Minister Boris Pistorius (Social Democratic Party) asserted that “extremists have no place in any sphere of public service”. Brandenburg Interior Minister Michael Stubgen (CDU) sees it the same way: “There is no place for extremists of all stripes in any field of public service.” civil service “.

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