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Germany's highest court opened hearings Tuesday on a bid to outlaw the country's biggest far-right party, which officials accuse of promoting a racist and anti-Semitic agenda.

It's the second attempt to secure the ban, which would be the first of its kind in 60 years.

The German parliament's upper house, which represents the country's 16 state governments, applied at the end of 2013 for a ban on the National Democratic Party, or NPD. The states say it violates the constitution and are keen to cut off the state funding to which political parties are entitled.

Back in 2003, the Karlsruhe-based Federal Constitutional Court rejected a first attempt to ban the party because paid government informants within the group were partially responsible for evidence against it. Officials say there's no evidence from informants in the new case.

Bavaria's interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, told n-tv television that "the NPD is a danger to our democracy." He added that "the NPD benefits from state financing of parties — that means that tax money is abused for neo-Nazi propaganda."

The head of Germany's main Jewish group, Josef Schuster, said the NPD wants to create a state "in which there is no place for minorities."

Peter Richter, a lawyer representing the NPD, petitioned for the case against the party to be closed, arguing there was no credible evidence that government informants had been removed from the group.

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