• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Pirates crash protest drone at Merkel rally

The Local · 16 Sep 2013, 15:17

Published: 16 Sep 2013 15:17 GMT+02:00

Merkel looked on apparently amused as the about 40-centimetre (16-inch) wide device, fitted with a camera, dropped down on the podium just metres away from her at the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) event Sunday in the eastern city of Dresden.

A week before Merkel seeks a third term in general elections, the internet-freedom Pirates, who campaign for greater transparency in politics, said they wanted to take aim at the government's stance on drones.

They had sought to convey to Merkel and Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere, on the podium with her, "how it feels to suddenly yourself be observed by a drone", the party's deputy chairman Markus Barenhoff said in a statement.

"For us, the use of drones within the EU's security framework is the expression of a disastrous trend," he added.

It was also a protest against a scrapped spy drone deal which had already swallowed more than €500 million before being axed earlier in the year, said the statement, posted on the party's website.

An unidentified Pirate party member, who operated the drone, said it was solely aimed at videoing Merkel and other CDU politicians.

After police forced him to ground it, he conducted an emergency landing "in the area in front of the stage in order not to endanger anyone", resulting in a bumpy landing, he added.

A 23-year-old man was temporarily detained in connection with the incident.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert declined to comment, beyond telling reporters that Merkel "has confidence, as she always does, that what's necessary for her security is done."

An interior ministry spokesman told the same news briefing that the federal police, responsible for Merkel's personal security, had "taken note of the incident and will draw its conclusions from it".

Last month media reports that a 24-year-old man had managed to board a government jet used by Merkel while it was parked in the military section of Cologne airport raised security questions.

Story continues below…

The bodybuilder was reported to have been carrying marijuana and ecstasy pills when he climbed into the Airbus 319 where he sprayed extinguisher foam, pressed cockpit buttons and was dressed in just his underpants.

The incident reportedly happened on a July evening while Merkel attended a performance of "The Flying Dutchman" at the Bayreuth Wagner opera festival.

READ MORE: Spying scandal turns Pirates' fortunes

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germany's first 'intelligent' bridge to open in Nuremberg
File photo: DPA

An €11 million bridge, which is nearing completion in northern Bavaria, is set to include technology never seen before on the German Autobahn.

Stockpile food in case of attack, Germany tells citizens
Photo: DPA

Germany on Wednesday urged its population to stockpile food and water in case of terrorist or cyber attacks, as it adopted its first civil defence strategy since the end of the Cold War.

Ten injured after freight train crashes into bus in Osnabrück
The crash site in Osnabrück. Photo: DPA

A freight train crashed into a bus in Osnabrück on Wednesday morning, leaving several people badly injured, local media report.

Man wins ten-year court battle over €2.50 surcharge
Photo: DPA

An Austrian man has won a ten year court battle over an extra €2.50 he was asked to pay to get into a swimming pool in Bavaria a decade ago.

In Pictures
Düsseldorf swoons as Prince William comes for royal visit
'Well hello Mr. Prince'. Photo: DPA.

Prince William paid a visit to the Rhineland city of Düsseldorf on Wednesday to celebrate the state of North Rhine-Westphalia's 70th birthday. Here's a look at his royal stay.

Brexit
Frankfurt attempts to charm banks away from London
Frankfurt am Main. Photo: DPA

Germany's finance capital has spotted an opportunity with the Brexit-wary banking beasts of the Square Mile.

How did this bike end up on top of Berlin’s Molecule Man?
A professional climber 'rescuing' the bike hanging from the Molecule Man. Photo: DPA.

Berliners are still scratching their heads over how a bicycle ended up dangling from the capital’s iconic statue.

Travellers stuck after dozy train driver forgets Freiburg
Photo: DPA

It's one thing to miss a train - it's another when the train misses you.

Berlin airport employee admits taking €150,000 bribe
Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Photo: DPA

The German capital's long-delayed international airport has been haunted by claims of corruption and incompetency.

Teachers' union: school burqa bans only isolate girls more
Women wearing niqabs. Photo: DPA.

A German trade union for teachers has warned of the consequences of banning certain religious attire in schools after a teen this week was told she could not wear a face veil to school.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,582
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd