Germany to crack down on G8 summit troublemakers

11th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

11 May 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Germany warned Friday that it would clamp down on extremists suspected of posing a threat to the security of a summit of the world's major industrial powers next month. Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said potential troublemakers could be placed in preventive custody ahead of the Group of Eight meeting in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm. His remarks, which came two days after police raided the homes and offices of leftist extremists, underscored Germany's fear of a re

11 May 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Germany warned Friday that it would clamp down on extremists suspected of posing a threat to the security of a summit of the world's major industrial powers next month.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said potential troublemakers could be placed in preventive custody ahead of the Group of Eight meeting in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm.

His remarks, which came two days after police raided the homes and offices of leftist extremists, underscored Germany's fear of a repetition of the violence that rocked the G8 summit in Genoa six years ago when a demonstrator was killed by police.

Schaeuble, who has already announced that Germany was reimposing border checks in efforts to quell violent protests at the June 6-8 gathering, said extremists could be detained for up to two weeks if there are firm indications they are planning criminal actions.

Normally German borders are open and passengers on flights from many European Union countries, the so-called Schengen nations, do not need to show passports. The Interior Ministry said it needed to prevent the entry of violence-prone anti-globalization activists.

In Mecklenburg-West Pommerania, where the summit is taking place, police had the powers to impose 10 days of preventive custody, the state's interior minister, Lorenz Caffier, said Friday.

Caffier and state Premier Harald Ringstorff told a news conference that police would seek to defuse any threatening situations but would react forcefully to prevent outbreaks of violence.

Schaeuble said Germany anticipated a heightened threat to its security during the summit when Chancellor Angela Merkel will host the leaders of Britain, France, Italy, Canada, the US, Japan and Russia.

The fact that Germany was not subject to terrorist attacks during other major events it hosted such as last year's football World Cup "does not mean we will be spared this time," he said.

Police say they expect 50,000 to 100,000 protesters to gather next month near the summit venue for a series of anti- globalization rallies and a pop concert featuring anti-G8 songs.

While most of the events are expected to be non-violent, police fear that 3 to 5 per cent of the protesters might try to evade police roadblocks and fences and invade the summit.

Germany has mobilized 16,000 police and built a 12-kilometre-long wire fence around the hotel complex where the guests will stay and hold their talks. The German navy will also patrol the waters off the resort.

On Wednesday, police launched a crackdown against left-wing extremists believed intent on disrupting the talks. Some 900 officers searched 40 sites in six German states, confiscating computers, data and other documents, but making no arrests.

The raids triggered peaceful protests by anti-globalization activists in several cities, resulting in clashes with police in the northern port of Hamburg.

Prosecutors said militant leftists opposed to globalization had carried out a series of petrol-bomb attacks over the past year on homes and cars of industrialists and officials in Berlin and Hamburg.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article