German Politicians Demand Crackdown on Left-Wing Extremism After G20 Riots
A series of violent riots that engulfed the city of Hamburg during the G20 summit have provoked a wave of indignation among German politicians who demanded a radical change of approach toward violent protests, as well as to left-wing extremism.
“Germany’s image in the international community has been severely damaged due to the incidents in Hamburg,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Bild’s weekend edition following three nights of violent clashes between the left-wing radicals and police in the German northern port city that hosted the G20 summit.
All alleged political motives for this orgy of violence are full of deceit and should just serve as a disguise for the real motive of the offenders that [came] from all parts of Europe: violence in itself,”Gabriel added.
The minister also demanded the creation of an EU-wide special investigative committee that would launch an inquiry against all those involved in the violent riots in Hamburg.
“A state governed by the rule of law must now demonstrate an ability to defend itself,” he said.
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas also spoke about the necessity of an EU-wide response to outbreaks of left-wing extremism. He particularly demanded the establishment of the European information databank on extremists as well as more intensive exchange of data on extremists committing violent crimes.
“We have faced a new form of violence, to which we should respond with enhanced cooperation in fighting extremists,”Maas told the German media on Monday in Berlin. He also vowed to employ a tougher approach toward violent extremists’ supporters.
“Those, who support rampant violence will also have to stand trial,” he said, as cited by the Der Tagesspiegel daily.
In the meantime, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere compared the left-wing rioters in Hamburg to far-right extremists and even Islamists. “Those were not demonstrators. Those were violent and felonious radicals,” the minister said during a press conference on Monday, adding that those who staged violent riots in Hamburg were “despicable, violent extremists just like neo-Nazis and Islamist terrorists.”
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