• Germany's news in English

Pirates crash protest drone at Merkel rally

The Local · 16 Sep 2013, 15:17

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd