Opposition calls for military to be allowed to act at home
9 September 2005, BERLIN - Germany's Christian Democrat opposition called Friday for greater coordination between intelligence services, police and the military to ward off the threat of terrorist outrages in the style of the 9/11 attacks almost exactly four years ago.
9 September 2005
BERLIN - Germany's Christian Democrat opposition called Friday for greater coordination between intelligence services, police and the military to ward off the threat of terrorist outrages in the style of the 9/11 attacks almost exactly four years ago.
Speaking on security policy just nine days before the country goes to the polls, Wolfgang Schaeuble, a senior adviser to Christian Democrat leader Angela Merkel, said Germany faced a "completely changed security situation since 9/11".
Noting the fourth anniversary on Sunday of the terror attacks on New York and Washington, Schaeuble criticised security arrangements at major events in Germany.
He pointed to World Youth Day, which drew around a million young Catholics to Cologne last month, and the Football World Cup being staged in Germany next year, and demanded that the resources of the military be made available on a constitutionally sound footing.
"The difference between internal and external security has become obsolete since the attacks in Madrid and London," he said, in reference to the train bombings in the Spanish capital in March last year and the London attacks in July.
Flanked by Guenther Beckstein, interior minister in the state of Bavaria, Schaeuble accused the Social Democrat government of "downplaying" the security threat Germany faced.
A government led by the Christian Democrats would, in particular, implement the legal changes necessary to allow the military to be deployed alongside the police to ward off any threat, he said.
It was "absurd" that the German military could be deployed in Afghanistan and the Balkans to protect civilian lives, while there were constitutional obstacles to this kind of deployment in Germany, Schaeuble said.
Beckstein called for greater powers to conduct surveillance on individuals regarded as a threat to state security and to deport or detain them.
Opinion polls suggest that Merkel's CDU, along with its Bavarian sister-party, the CSU, and potential coalition partners, the liberal FDP, are neck-and-neck with the current government.
The Social Democrats of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder have increased their support in recent days, while that of their partners, the Greens, has remained steady.
DPA with Expatica
Subject: German news