Neo-nazi research group `given pounds 75,000 by EU'

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The Independent Online
A shadowy neo-Nazi group researching eugenics has received a large subsidy from the European Union, it is revealed in today's edition of the German weekly Die Woche.

According to the paper, the German-based Society for Biological Anthropology, Eugenics and Behavioural Research collected pounds 75,000 in October last year from the EU's agricultural fund.

The group is led by JurgenRieger, a registered neo-Nazi who organised a week-long gathering of right-wing extremists in the central German village of Hetendorf as recently as the summer of this year. The society claimed the funds for their farm in southern Sweden, where they say they are studying and practising "ecological agriculture".

The Swedish press has in the past reported on the group's activities on the farm, which is believed to be the training ground for Rieger's storm-troopers. But the Swedish government, which dispensed the EU money, argued that Rieger's flock had not committed any crime.

"It is not forbidden to farm," a Swedish official told Woche. "As long as they stay within the law, there is nothing we can do."

The latest revelation comes in the wake of reports exposing German government links to the extreme right. After initially attacking the defence ministry, the German establishment is leaning towards the charitable view that it was one big mistake.

The defence minister, Volker Ruhe yesterday visited one of the barracks at the centre of one recent scandal. Admitting there were "deficiencies in political awareness in the army", Mr Ruhe pledged more political education for soldiers.

Parliament has meanwhile launched an inquiry into the neo-Nazi incidents uncovered in the armed forces. The inquest will open next month.