BY JUAN CARLOS BARRENA
The Federal Agency for the Defense of the Constitution (BfV) and the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) have raised alarms and warned that neo-Nazi and far-right groups try to lead and are dangerously instrumentalizing protests against restrictions on the coronavirus epidemic, in which they try to influence the recruitment of those who participate in the demonstrations without political motivation. “We are seeing a trend that extremists, especially those on the extreme right, are trying to instrumentalize the protests,” Thomas Haldenwang, president of the BfV, said in the Sunday Welt am Sonntag. Body responsible for counter-espionage and the fight against terrorism in Germany. “There is a danger for the extreme right-wingers with their approaches to what the enemy is and their goals of destabilizing the state being placed at the forefront of the coronavirus demonstrations, which are currently carried out mainly by citizens respectful of the Constitution,” Haldenwang underlines. , who affirms that “we are concerned that extremists take advantage of the current situation as they did at the time in the refugee crisis.”
“The extreme right feels increasingly represented in the coronavirus protests,” a spokeswoman for the German top police body said in remarks to the Sunday Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS). Although there is still no indication of “a coordinated infiltration by the extreme right” of the protests, it is clear that “They take advantage of the current situation with propaganda objectives”, they point out from the BKA. Neo-Nazi and far-right parties and groups have called on their supporters to join the protests called this weekend in various German cities against restrictions by the pandemic. The neo-Nazi formation “The Third Way”, in clear reference to Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, has written on its website that “for the first time a great disposition of the people to civil indiscipline can be appreciated for the first time”. He adds that in German cities “there are Germans who want to end the system and want change. We must worry that this change is that of German National Socialism.
Thousands of people joined this Saturday the protests called in various German cities by groups opposed to the limitation of constitutional freedoms due to the restrictions, but also left and right extremists and followers of absurd conspiracy theories. More than 5,000 people gathered in Stuttgart, who mostly kept dictations to keep a minimum physical distance between people. In Munich there were more than a thousand. In Frankfurt several hundred gathered under the slogan “Hands off the Constitution” and in Berlin there were no less than 20 different calls in various parts of the city. The police dissolved one of them before the Reichstag, the seat of the German parliament, for exceeding the number of 50 authorized persons and not respecting the dictates of physical distance. Thousands of police officers watched over all of them for safety and respect for the rules issued to combat the pandemic.
The protests are infiltrated by militants from other far-right parties such as “Die Rechte”, La Derecha, who talks about “exciting times” and the “shock that is registered in the population” and calls on “the nationalists to support the protests ». Likewise, the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) calls to infiltrate the protests. On the website of its press body “Deutsche Stimme” (The German Voice) it is called to “go on the offensive once and for all” and to position itself against the measures adopted by the government to combat the disease.
The federal interior minister, Horst Seehofer, acknowledges in the FAS that many citizens are concerned “about their own existence” at the consequences of the epidemic and for this reason he stresses that the government must act quickly to guarantee their income and “prevent right-wing extremists and defenders of conspiracy theories from becoming protagonists”, although he recalled that in Germany everyone has the right “to meet , express themselves and express their opinion ”, a right that“ we are obliged to protect ”. Paul Ziemiak, secretary general of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) also warned against the influence of the far right on the protests. If the demonstrations “are infiltrated and manipulated by extremists, our society will be threatened,” emphasizes Ziemiak in the FAS, in which he stresses that conspiracy theories and false information are “incendiary material” and calls on the democratic center to “stand up to them and unmask them.
Nevertheless, a large majority of Germans continue to consider the restrictive measures issued by the federal government to be adequate and executives from the 16 federated states to co-combat the Sars-Covid-19 virus pandemic. According to a survey by the Kantar demoscopic institute published by the weekly Der Spiegel in its edition this weekend, 70% of the citizens of Germany consider the restrictions adequate and only 19% think they are disproportionate. 9% even see them as insufficient. Support for these measures is greater in the east than in the west of the country, with 76% and 69% support, respectively. Among the detractors of the restrictions, 56% declare themselves a follower of the ultra-nationalist Alternative formation for Germany, 35% of the Liberal Party (FDP) and 20% of The Left. Just 9% of SPD voters, 8% of Conservatives, and 8% of Los Verdes are critical of the restrictions.
Johnson’s ‘Pimpampum’ with the EU or British non-London institutions
BY iñigo gurruchaga
After a week in which David Frost, the British negotiator with the European Commission on Brexit, expressed that he cannot understand “The EU’s insistence on an ideological approach that makes it more difficult to reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial”Opposition leaders have written to Michel Barnier showing his support for an extension of the negotiation deadline beyond the end of the year.
In the announcement of the letter by the Scottish National Party (SNP), polls published this weekend are quoted as saying that there is a large majority of British supporters of the postponement. The ‘Express on Sunday’ publishes the result of another, which it gives a small majority to supporters to keep the transition and the bargaining until December 31, and not another day.
The list includes all opposition parties, national or regional, except Labor. Its new leader, Keir Starmer, whom the defeated ‘Corbynists’ blame for the December electoral debacle for insisting on a second referendum, argues that since the government has announced that it will neither ask for nor accept an EU offer to extend the term, he and his party will demand the fulfillment of that promise.
It seems clear that Starmer believes Frost’s frustration because the EU does not worry about the mutual benefit with the same care as the British Government, or Johnson’s relentlessness to spend the new year solving problems of an abrupt Brexit, are an imposture: the new representation of the British will to leave without an agreement if the EU does not give it what it wants.
Labor illustrates Johnson’s errors and inconsistencies at the start of a long war of attrition. And the prime minister is prone to fail excessively. His relaxation from confinement has broken previous coordination with Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Nor did he bother to advance his announcement to the mayors of large English cities. Liverpool has decided that it will not open its primary schools on June 1, as the Government would like.