Germany's top security officials have deemed Scientology unconstitutional and vowed to work toward banning the sect. They also agreed to rescind the non-profit status of groups associated with the far-right NPD party.
Scientology has always had difficulties in Germany
The interior ministers of the nation's 16 states as well as federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble "consider Scientology to be an organization that is not compatible with the constitution," Berlin Interior Minister Erhart Körting told reporters after a two-day meeting of the officials, on Friday, Dec. 7.
Körting said Germany's domestic intelligence agencies would collect material that could possibly serve as the basis for a ban of the sect. Federal Interior Minister Schäuble said there was not yet enough information to justify a ban.
Germany does not recognize Scientology as a religion but sees it as a money-making venture. The German authorities have viewed Scientology with suspicion for years. The group, which opened a center in Berlin in January, has around 6,000 followers in Germany.
No money for extreme right-wing
The ministers also decided to prevent organizations close to the far-right NPD party from gaining or retaining non-profit status or receiving state subsidies.
The NPD has avoided being banned so far
"We're going to the place that it hurts them the most," said Schleswig-Holstein's interior minister, Ralf Stegner.
Currently there aren't any such groups that get money from the state. Due to the NPD's presence in several regional parliaments, however, foundations associated with the party would theoretically have the right to apply for subsidies.
Germany has been debating whether to ban the NPD for years, but so far every attempt has failed to establish that the party violates the country's constitution.
Ferrari has sacked Formula One team boss Marco Mattiachi after barely half a season in the post, appointing Maurizio Arrivabene from sponsor Philip Morris. The 2014 clear-out at Sebastian Vettel's next team continues.
German engineering giant Siemens and French industrial group Thales have been chosen to upgrade safety features, control systems and signals on Spain's high-speed Olmedo to Ourense track.
EU lawmakers are set to vote on a motion this week proposing the break-up of Google and other Internet firms. The move comes amid increasing political pressure on the bloc to curb their market dominance.