Minister calls for co-operation against ‘riot tourists’
BERLIN: Germany’s justice minister yesterday called for a better exchange of information on violent extremists in the EU following the riots that accompanied the Group of 20 summit.
Hamburg saw three nights of violence amid anti-globalisation protests as leaders of the world’s biggest economic powers met. Police arrested 186 and temporarily detained a further 225 people.
“The brutal riot tourists stop at no borders,” Justice Minister Heiko Maas said. “A high proportion of the violent extremists travelled to the G-20 from other European countries.”
He said that “we experienced a new quality of violence, which we should react to with more co-operation in combating extremists”.
Germany temporarily reintroduced border controls with its European neighbours weeks before the summit.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said “several hundred” known extremists were turned back.
Other people were searched but in some cases there was no legal reason to deny them entry, such as travelling with weapons like slingshots.
“We are talking about a year and half to two years of preparation in the left-wing extremist scene,” De Maiziere said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if much of the material with which police officers were wounded came to Germany long before border controls were introduced.”