German Counterintelligence Expects Mass Protests Over Rising Costs of Living, Energy
19:04 GMT 04.09.2022 (Updated: 19:07 GMT 04.09.2022)
© AP Photo / Markus SchreiberPolice officers carry away a demonstrator after police stop a protest rally against the German government's policy to battle the corona virus pandemic in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
© AP Photo / Markus Schreiber
Some European countries have already faced public protests as fuel, gas and energy prices rapidly surged dragging along overall cost of living amid decades-high inflation. The rapidly growing prices were partly prompted by the western countries' sanctions against Russia – their major supplier of oil and gas.
German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), the country's counterintelligence, expressed concerns that various left and right-wing forces in the country might stage massive demonstrations in the cities against surging cost of living.
They believe that scenarios akin to the September 3 massive demonstration in Prague, Czech Republic, which saw at least 70,000 people demanding the government's resignation, are possible in Germany as well.
"So what we saw during the coronavirus pandemic might look like a children's party in comparison to what is to come," the head of the BfV's regional department in Thuringia said.
German newspaper Die Welt, noted that several right- and left-wing parties indeed are already preparing to hold demonstrations this fall. Die Linke and Alternative for Germany are two parties that prepare protests under the slogan of "hot autumn". The left will be holding the first demonstration in Leipzig already on September 5 and are expected to be joined by the AfG mirror protest under the motto "Germany comes first" and "hot autumn, not cold feet".
The opponents of the current coalition government in the CDU party are also apparently bracing for the potential collapse of the government. The head of the party, which once led the Germany alongside CSU and temporary coalition allies, Friedrich Merz, claims he is ready to replace Olaf Scholz of Social Democratic Party and claims he is capable of dealing with surging electricity bills and fears of lack of power in the grid by reviving the nuclear plants. He also promises to cancel some taxes and better distribute government aid.
3 September 2022, 18:54 GMT
The BfV concerns for mass demonstrations come in the wake of left-wing groups organizing a protest in Prague, where at least 70,000 people demanded the resignation of the government, which had just barely survived a vote of confidence, and the signing of direct short-term agreement with Russia on gas supplies. The head of the Czech government, Prime Minister Petr Fiala, slammed the protest organizers as being "pro-Russian" forces and claimed they did not have the country's "best interests" in their hearts.
The Czech Republic, Germany and other European countries are struggling with surging gas and electricity prices, as Russian Nord Stream pipeline was driven out of order by the western sanctions against the country. They prevented the timely and orderly maintenance of the pipeline's turbines needed for pumping the gas.