Spread the love

Germany in shock after attack on MEP in campaign

A MEP German leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) was attacked and seriously injured while he was putting up electoral posters, an attack strongly condemned by the political class which is worried about the rise in violence against elected officials.

“Democracy is threatened by these kinds of acts,” responded German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, wishing Matthias Ecke, a member of his party, to “face what has entered his life like a horror”. 60~/p>

The attack suffered Friday evening in Dresden, in eastern Germany, by this MEP, also head of the SPD list in the Saxony region for European elections in June, is not the first targeting political representatives in recent months.

According to the police, the 41-year-old elected official was “hit” by four strangers while putting up posters. He had to “receive medical treatment at the hospital”.

Mr. Ecke was “seriously injured and requires surgery”, said the Saxony SPD federation.

Before this attack, a 28-year-old man put up posters for the party des Verts, in the same street, was also hit “with punches and kicks”, said the police, who suspect the same group of attackers

The investigation was entrusted to the State Protection services, meaning that the possibility of politically motivated violence is favored.

“If a politically motivated attack (. ..) is confirmed a few weeks before the European elections, this serious act of violence constitutes a serious attack against democracy”, reacted the Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser.

She invokes the responsibility of “extremists and populists, who fuel a climate of increasing violence through totally disproportionate verbal attacks”.

– “Gibier” –< /p>

SPD officials in Saxony directly questioned the role of the far-right AfD party, which has seen strong growth in the polls over the past year.

“The seeds sown by the AfD and other right-wing extremists are germinating. Their supporters are now completely uninhibited and clearly view us democrats as game (…),” lamented Henning Homann and Kathrin Michel, regional leaders of the SPD party.

The AfD leadership also condemned the attack on Matthias Ecke.

Interviewed by the AFP, residents of Dresden confided their shock. “I find it terrible. They want to put up election posters here or are traveling here, and then people beat them up. It's not possible,” said Matthias Janzen, 40.

Thursday evening, two elected officials from the Greens, the party which governs with the SPD, were attacked in Essen, in western Germany, and one of them hit in the face.

Last Saturday, a few dozen demonstrators attacked the vice-president of the Bundestag Katrin Göring-Eckardt, an elected environmentalist, after a public event in eastern Germany. His car had been blocked and police reinforcements had to be called.

These attacks were the result of “discourse, the atmosphere created, the fact of bringing people against each other and pitting them against each other,” lamented Olaf Scholz. “We must oppose it together.”

According to Armin Schuster, Minister of the Interior of Saxony, where an important regional vote will be held on September 1, 112 crimes against political motives linked to elections have been recorded in the Land since the start of the year – including 30 against holders of political functions or elective mandates.

“What is absolutely worrying is the intensity with which the attacks are currently increasing,” Mr. Schuster said on Saturday.

At the end of April, the Greens of the Land of Saxony reported “four incidents in half a day” against party poster pasters, denouncing “a new level of escalation”.

“This outbreak of violence is a warning”, said Head of State Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Saturday.

The head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell condemned “unacceptable episodes of harassment against political representatives”.

According to provisional police figures, 2,790 crimes were committed in 2023 against political representatives in Germany compared to 1,806 the previous year, but 2,840 in 2021, the year of legislative elections.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116