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Bavaria to display crosses in all government buildings

Former Bavarian Premier Host Seehofer stands next to a cross (Getty Images)

Bavaria’s regional government has ordered crosses to be placed at the entrances of all state administrative buildings. The state’s conservative administration said that the crosses should reflect Bavaria’s “cultural identity and Christian-Western influence”. The decree was passed on Tuesday and won’t apply to federal government buildings in Bavaria.

The predominantly Catholic state’s public schools and courtrooms are already obliged to display crosses at entrances. Bavaria is governed by the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian partners of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats who tend to be more conservative on social issues. The decision comes after last September’s federal election, which saw a rise in support for the anti-immigration and populist Alternativ für Deutschland.

Horst Seehofer, former CSU premier of Bavaria and now Germany’s interior minister, has pressed Merkel’s government for tighter immigration controls. Following the reelection of Viktor Orban in Hungary earlier this month, Seehofer warned that the European Union had displayed “arrogance and paternalism” to states like Hungary.

Bavaria’s current President, Markus Söder, has followed a similarly conservative line once saying “one thing is clear for the CSU: Crucifixes belong in classrooms, headscarves don’t”.