Following protests by Hindu groups who say they've used the swastika as a religious symbol for millennia, Germany announced Monday that it has dropped plans to outlaw the sign throughout the European Union.
In Germany, even carrying this sign has led to a conviction in court
Germany, which currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, still wants to make Holocaust denial illegal throughout the EU to stem racism and xenophobia.
"Public incitement of violence and hatred or the denial or trivialization of genocide with racist or xenophobic motives" should be criminalized EU-wide, German officials said in Brussels on Monday. "But the plan does not include a ban on certain symbols such as swastikas."
The German EU presidency hopes that EU members will come to an agreement on the plan during the meeting in Luxembourg on April 19 and 20.
A similar attempt to make Holocaust denial illegal by Luxembourg in 2005 was blocked by Britain, Denmark and notably Italy, where Silvio Berlusconi's center-right coalition was still in power. The new Italian government under Romano Prodi introduced a national bill over the weekend that would impose jail time for inciting racial hatred.
In Europe, only Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Spain have laws that specifically target revisionism.
EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker is to present a new plan to the European Parliament that is aimed at reviving the EU economy. Instead of creating new debt, he wants to reallocate funds and lure private investors.
Representatives in the European Parliament received a harsh critique of the state of Europe from Pope Francis. Nevertheless, his speech in Strasbourg was a glowing appeal that awakened hope, says DW's Christoph Strack.
From 2016, women must hold 30 percent of corporate board positions in some of Germany's biggest listed companies. The agreement on a legal quota came after talks among Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition parties.
The controversial German television production "Generation War" has won an International Emmy in the mini-series category. The prestigious award was presented Monday evening in New York.