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Germany’s spy agency has officially called on German lawmakers to give it more powers to monitor financial transactions amid growing concerns over potential Russian financing of regional “far-right” parties ahead of European parliamentary elections. 

The urgency of the matter was highlighted by the revelation that a member of the far-right Alternative for Germany party allegedly received funds from a pro-Russian news outlet. This development comes as Germany’s interior ministry is already working to adjust current laws to better address these issues.


At a news conference, Thomas Haldenwang, head of Germany’s domestic intelligence, said he “would hope to have more authority to monitor financial developments. This would affect all areas (of security) because the efficacy of protagonists’ actions depends of course also on how much funds they have, but we are especially interested in the financial streams in the right-wing extremist scene.”

This comes after German parliamentarian Petr Bystron, representing the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD), was accused of receiving bribes from Russia, a claim which he denies.

Historically, Germany’s security agencies have faced bureaucratic obstacles that critics, including former officials, attribute to the country’s totalitarian past and the consequent caution against state overreach. Last year, former leaders of the foreign intelligence agency described Germany’s security agencies as useless due to restrictions placed on them. Some lawmakers have raised doubts about giving the intelligence agencies more power, citing government overreach. 


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