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.
Switzerland has begun online publication of names of foreigners and foreign firms wanted in tax probes by their countries of origin, including Germany. American citizens are identified only by their initials.
Spain's "Indignados" have battered the ruling right-wingers and the second place centrists. Protest factions topped the vote in Barcelona and shattered the Popular Party's majority in Madrid.
Andrzej Duda has won Poland's presidential runoff. The right-winger trumped the incumbent centrist, Bronislaw Komorowski, with promises of change and generous social spending.
A tale of immigrants struggling to begin anew in Europe has claimed one of the most prestigious trophies in film. Meanwhile, the much talked-about lesbian drama "Carol" nabbed a best actress award for star Rooney Mara.