Anti-nuclear protestors scale Berlin's Reichstag

2nd September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Germany decided in 2000 under former premier Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats and the Greens -- when current Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives were in opposition -- to mothball its 17 reactors by about 2020.

Berlin -- Greenpeace activists scaled Berlin's Reichstag parliament building on Tuesday to protest against Germany backtracking after this month's general election on its decision to abandon nuclear power.

The 15 activists managed to hang a banner underneath the inscription "Dem deutschen Volke" ("For the German people") reading "...eine Zukunft ohne Atomkraft" ("a future without nuclear power").

Germany decided in 2000 under former premier Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens -- when current Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives were in opposition -- to mothball its 17 reactors by about 2020.

The SPD is currently in coalition with Merkel's CDU, but members of her party want to look at extending the life of some reactors, which produce around 30 percent of German power.

This view is also shared by the party that Merkel wants to govern with after the September 27 election, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP). Opinion polls indicate the parties will attract enough votes to form such a coalition.

"People want a future without nuclear power," Greenpeace energy expert Thomas Muenchmeyer said. "Politicians have to take seriously abandoning nuclear power, and implement it."

The ecological protest group plans a demonstration in Berlin on Saturday.

Germany's stance on nuclear contrasts with it coming back in vogue in other countries because of high energy prices, to lower harmful carbon dioxide emissions and to reduce dependence on volatile oil and gas imports.

AFP/Expatica

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