Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

World

German police clash with anti-lockdown protesters

Police clashed with protesters in Berlin on Wednesday as they tried to disperse a rally against the coronavirus lockdown while parliament debated a law to give the national government more powers to fight a third wave of the pandemic.

Chancellor Angela Merkel drew up the law after some of Germany’s 16 federal states refused to impose tough measures despite a surge in cases. Her government has come under fire for its chaotic handling of lockdowns and slow vaccination campaign.

Police said on Twitter they would break up the protest because many in the crowds of demonstrators were not wearing face masks or keeping a distance from one another. Up to 2,200 officers were on duty in Berlin to manage the protests.

For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.

Seven people were detained after they attacked officers, while police had to use pepper spray against other demonstrators who threw bottles and tried to climb over barriers.

“Peace, freedom, no dictatorship!” some protestors chanted, many waving German flags and banners which said the coronavirus lockdown undermines values enshrined in the constitution.

Germans are sensitive to any measures which threaten their freedom due to the country’s Nazi and Communist past, and demonstrations against the legislation have been staged in the last few weeks in towns across the country.

The new law enables the national government to impose curfews between 10 p.m. (2000 GMT) and 5 a.m. (0300 GMT), as well as limits on private gatherings, sport and shop openings.
Schools will close and return to online lessons if the virus incidence exceeds 165 cases per 100,000 residents.

Alexander Gauland, parliamentary head of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, said the government was fighting the pandemic with the wrong measures. “They are stuck in their trenches,” he told the Bundestag debate on the law.

Ralph Brinkhaus, parliamentary leader of Merkel’s Christian Democrats, said politicians had to balance civil liberties with the need to save lives. “We are in a situation where too many people are dying,” he said.

Germany reported a rise of 24,884 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the total to nearly 3.19 million. Some 80,634 people have died and doctors have warned that unless action is taken, intensive-care units may struggle to cope.

However, in the last few days the seven-day incidence rate has inched down and is now at 160.1 per 100,000.

The legislation is due to go to the Bundesrat, the upper house of parliament, on Thursday.

Next articles

Germany’s Merkel urges lawmakers to support COVID-19 pandemic bill

Germany’s far-right AfD firms up election strategy

 

 

You May Also Like

World

Sitting by herself at the funeral of Prince Philip on Saturday, Queen Elizabeth cut a regal, but solitary figure: still the monarch, but now...

World

Germany’s vaccine commission, known as STIKO, recommended on Thursday that people under 60-years old who have had a first shot of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine...

Energy

United Arab Emirates power producer Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA) announced on Wednesday plans to increase its renewable energyassets, in a shift away...

World

Activists opposed to Myanmar’s junta called on Monday for people to stop paying electricity bills and agricultural loans, and keep their children away from...

Advertisement

error: