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CRIME

Germans fear crisis, many would take to streets

The economic crisis is hitting the German psyche hard; a new survey says 72 percent of Germans are scared by the crisis and over 30 percent would demonstrate on the streets, Bild am Sonntag reported.

Germans fear crisis, many would take to streets
Photo: DPA

In the last week, German politicians and union leaders have debated whether or not social unrest will arrive in Germany once companies are forced to lay off workers and the economy slows down further.

The Sunday survey in Bild am Sonntag says 54 percent of Germans believe there will be unrest in the coming months. Eastern Germans are gloomier, with 61 percent percent believing that unrest is coming.

West Germans are more likely to take to the streets than those from the east, the survey found, with 34 percent of westerners saying they would demonstrate compared to only 27 percent of easterners.

The first big test of whether Germany’s social fabric is fraying comes next week on May 1st, the annual day of work celebrated all over Europe, often with labor demonstrations. In Berlin, where the annual demonstrations often turn violent, with anarchists burning cars and clashing with police, the city is preparing for larger-than-usual rallies.

“Attacks by extremists on police are rising,” Konrad Freiberg, the head of the Union of Police, told Bild. “Already by May first, the violence threatens to escalate.”

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CRIME

German police probe fatal knife attack on schoolgirl

Police were on Tuesday investigating a motive behind the fatal stabbing of a 14-year-old girl on her way to school in Baden-Württemberg in a case that made national headlines.

German police probe fatal knife attack on schoolgirl

According to police, a 27-year-old man attacked two girls on the street with a knife as they walked to school Monday morning in the small town of Illerkirchberg near Ulm.

The victim, a German girl with a Turkish family background, was revived at the scene but later died in hospital, police said.

A 13-year-old girl was also hurt in the incident but did not suffer
life-threatening injuries.

Police apprehended the suspect at “nearby asylum seekers’ accommodation”, they said.

The alleged aggressor was injured when he was stopped by police and was taken to receive medical treatment. He was currently being held in hospital under guard.

Google Maps shows the town of Illerkirchberg, which has a little over 5,000 residents, and sits on the border with Bavaria.

“We will fully investigate this terrible act,” announced Thomas Strobl, Baden-Württemberg’s Interior Minister on Monday. “We are deeply affected…when the life of an innocent child is so brutally taken.”

The crime has taken on a political dimension because the suspect is an asylum seeker from Eritrea. Several politicians from Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) used the crime to question the country’s immigration policies. 

In the statement, a police spokesperson asked people “not to harbour general suspicions against strangers, or asylum seekers in general, or to encourage or support such suspicions.”

She said she was aware “that events of this kind stir up fears and emotions.”

The Turkish ambassador to Germany, Ahmet Basar Sen, was set to visit the scene of the crime Tuesday with  Strobl, and the mayor of Illerkirchberg.

“I mourn the girl who was killed and sincerely hope that the injured girl will recover,” Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser posted on Twitter Monday.

“The police are urgently investigating the background” of the attack, she said.

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