German Chancellor Angela Merkel is responsible for violence during the G20 summit in Hamburg but is reluctant to take responsibility for the clashes between protesters and police officers, German Foreign Minister, Vice-Chancellor and Social Democratic Party (SPD) member Sigmar Gabriel said Tuesday.
BERLIN (Sputnik) — Anti-globalist rallies took place in Hamburg against the background of the G20 summit, which was held on Friday and Saturday, with some of the demonstrations turning violent and leading to clashes with the police. Some protesters torched cars, threw Molotov cocktails and stones at the policemen and looted shops. A total of 476 policemen were injured during the clashes. Some 230 people were taken into custody and almost 190 arrested, according to the police data. At the same time, thousands of people took part in peaceful protests in Hamburg.
“Instead of giving joint response to the question why the Hamburg criminals can organize themselves in Europe, prepare their logically well-thought crimes and come [to Hamburg], why nor the intelligence services, neither the European police forces has obtained enough information or the opportunity to prevent it, or answering the question how the policy in Germany and Europe should change — instead the evil and shameful campaign is being carried out,” Gabriel told the Funke newspaper in an interview.
Gabriel called the G20 Summit a “total failure”, noting that the wide range of issues, such as wars, civil wars, refugee crisis, hunger and poverty, which were discussed at the summit, had not been given any resolution. He strongly condemned Merkel, claiming that she had been trying to use “attractive pictures” from the G20 Summit for self-promotion ahead of the general elections.
Gabriel stressed that Merkel was trying to enhance her image as one of the “world’s rulers” and blame the local authorities for clashes afterwards, adding that Olaf Scholz “is not responsible for staging the summit” and that those who demanded Scholz’s resignation “should also demand the resignation of Angela Merkel.”
Germany’s federal elections are slated for September 24, 2017, which will result in the election of a new government and chancellor. The CDU/CSU parties alliance and the SPD are the major rivals.