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Monday, September 26 2022

Berlin: ‘Violent protests over energy prices unlikely’

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Berlin: The President of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has said that no large-scale violent protest are currently envisioned in Germany in connection with high energy prices due to the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia.

Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) President Thomas Haldenwang assured Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper that while “currently, we have no signs of violent mass riots”, the security authorities were nevertheless prepared for all scenarios, dpa news agency reported.

The BfV was watching closely to see if legitimate protests were being hijacked by anti-democratic forces, Haldenwang said, adding: “I don’t expect protests to be more violent than at the height of the demonstrations against the state coronavirus measures.”

In July, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock warned of “popular uprisings” in the case of gas shortages, but then later retracted the statement.

However, sociologist Piotr Kocyba recently told dpa that he expected a violent wave of protests in the autumn in view of the looming energy crisis and high inflation in Germany.

Haldenwang also warned of the spread of Russian propaganda. “Parts of the right-wing extremist scene are adopting these slogans from Moscow. It is quite remarkable how uncritically some right-wing extremists and right-wing populists make themselves into (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s mouthpiece and sing his song.”

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