Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

SPD rejects amendment for military's anti-piracy ops

Share this article

SPD rejects amendment for military's anti-piracy ops
Photo. DPA
15:42 CEST+02:00
A battle has erupted in Germany's governing coalition over Chancellor Angela Merkel's suggestion to amend the constitution in order to aid the navy's mission against piracy on the high seas.

Both Merkel and her conservative Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaüble have recently called for the change to improve the ability of elite German police force the GSG-9 to work with the country's military when attempting to free the captives of pirates operating off the coast of Somalia.

But Merkel's junior coalition partner the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) don't consider a constitutional amendment necessary.

“It is completely unproblematic according to state and international law that the German armed forces fight the pirates and free hostages,” Dieter Wiefelspütz, the SPD's parliamentary security policy spokesman, told daily newspaper Handelsblatt on Monday. “I don't know why we need to change the Basic Law.”

Wiefelspütz said further that the SPD will not allow any changes to the constitution in the run-up to the election this September.

The debate stems from the abandoned rescue of the hijacked container ship Hansa Stavanger earlier this month, which included a partially German crew. After being stationed on the USS Boxer, the GSG-9 was recalled after the mission was deemed too risky.

Schäuble told Bild newspaper on Sunday that Germany's ability to respond to such situations abroad was hampered by the fact German law only provided for the police to undertake hostage rescues and not the military. “But that's really a job for the Bundeswehr,” he said. “For that though we'll have to change the legal foundation with a constitutional amendment.”

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

Change the world with a master's degree from Sweden's Linköping University

Master's students at world-leading Linköping University (LiU) aren't there simply to study. They solve real-world problems alongside experts in fields that can create a better tomorrow. Do you have what it takes to join them?

Advertisement