Germany's lower house of parliament on Thursday voted to step up efforts to combat anti-Semitism and called for the creation of a new government post to oversee the issue, backed by an independent panel of experts.

The proposal was jointly introduced and backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), the pro-business Free Democrats and the Greens.

The far-right Alternative for Germany party also voted for the measure, while the radical Left party voted against, citing what it called substantive deficiencies in the proposal.

The voice vote, which lays the groundwork for a spate of legislative initiatives during this session of parliament, was welcomed widely by Jewish groups.

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