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Savings bank may not terminate account of Identitarians

The district court of Paderborn has decided that the bank, Sparkasse Paderborn-Detmold may not terminate the account of the Identitarian Movement (IB).

Published: August 9, 2019, 12:18 pm


    Just because the German domestic intelligence service classifies it as “right-wing extremist”, it is not enough reason to close the accounts of the IB.

    “The termination of the account of the Identitarian Movement was not legal, because the club is indeed under surveillance, but there is no prohibition of clubs,” said the director of the district court, Günther Köhne, told the news agency dpa.

    In addition, IB could prove that it was not possible to set up an account with other banks, Köhne continued. Therefore, the Sparkasse should not kick out its customer yet, as an appointment for the trial before the district court has not been fixed.

    The savings bank had failed to prove that other customers would leave the bank, should the business relationship with IB become known. The bank had terminated the account on 1 October.

    The domestic intelligence service, known as the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) had classified the Identitarian Movement (IB) in July 2019 as a “right-wing extremist observation object”.

    This means that the German offshoot of the movement, which was originally founded in France, can now be watched with the complete set of intelligence tools.

    But Daniel Fiss, Germany’s leader of the Identitarian Movement (IB), said: “We do not condemn anyone because of their origin, their religion, sexuality or the like.” The Rostock student told Deutsche Welle that their ideas are based on the concept of ethnopluralism.

    German journalist Andreas Speit denounced the movement but noted: “Accordingly, each ethnic group allegedly has its ancestral habitat, where it has developed its own culture, tradition and identity,” Speit said IB followers believe this should be preserved and protected.

    The executive committee of the Alternative for Germany decided in June 2016 that the party would not cooperate with the IB. But this “incompatibility resolution” has not been strictly followed. For example, Fiss had a part-time job in the Bundestag from March to May this year. He worked in the office of AfD MP Siegbert Droese.

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