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CRIME

States pushing for tougher penalties for rotten meat

Germany’s upper house of parliament the Bundesrat has sent a consumer protection bill back to the drawing board, saying regulations regarding rotten meat need to be toughened up.

States pushing for tougher penalties for rotten meat
Photo: DPA

“We should not wait for the next rotten meat scandal to act,” said Bavaria’s Agriculture Minister Gerd Muller.

The rejected bill called for fines to increase from €20,000 to €50,000 as well as obligating producers to inform the public where the rotten meat was sold. But the upper house, which represents German’s 16 federal states, argued the authorities must also be able to name producers who put spoiled meat onto the market.

Currently, warnings are only issued after the danger to consumers and producers are taken into consideration. The Bundesrat also rejected plans for an emergency alert system.

“We want to be able to name the ‘Black Sheep’,” said Baden-Württemberg’s Minister for Consumer Affairs Peter Hauk.

Further, the Bundesrat requested that the mediation committee with the lower house of parliament regulate what would happen in case of animal epidemics. The states fear that the financial obligations associated with warning consumers about such epidemics, like the swine flu or mad cow disease, and are pushing to make that a federal responsibility.

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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