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Unemployed German sets car alight as petrol protest

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Unemployed German sets car alight as petrol protest
Photo: DPA
16:46 CEST+02:00
An unemployed German man set his car on fire in centre of Frankfurt on Friday to protest what he considers the “gas extortion” of high petrol prices.

The 30-year-old Bavarian parked his ride on a lawn in front of the city's convention centre and poured petrol all over the BMW before igniting it. By the time the fire brigade arrived the car was completely gutted by the flames.

“The boy was lucky – the tank was undamaged,” said police spokesman Karlheinz Wagner, who estimated the stunt caused damages totalling €10,000.

The man, who had glued the words “gas extortion” in German along with an internet address on the side of the car, now faces penalties for violating environmental codes and could be forced to pay the costs incurred by fire department.

Michael, as the protesting Bavarian calls himself on his website, has documented online the rising cost of petrol since 1950 and blames the German government for the current high price of fuel. According to his website, he recently quit his job because he could no longer afford the €250 a month for the 80 kilometres he had to drive each day.

“The government has plenty of ways to hold prices steady or even lower them, but why should it? We're dumb enough to pay the high prices and can't do anything against it,” Michael wrote on his website. “How wrong you are dear state!”

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