A Bundestag debate requested by the Union on the attacks on police and fire brigade forces on New Year's Eve has turned into an argument about abuses in Berlin. Ministers and MPs from the Ampel parties accused the Union of misusing the topic of excess violence to stir up resentment against people with a migration background and to help the Berlin CDU campaign.
The Union has deliberately kept the debate "simmering" since the turn of the year, said Federal Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens). "They are mainly looking at the upcoming state elections," she added. Turning the riots into a migration issue is "racist". The chairman of the Union faction, CDU leader Friedrich Merz, is gambling away the legacy of former Chancellor Angela Merkel and moving the Union further to the right.
Exchange of blows in the Bundestag
The deputy leader of the Union faction, Andrea Lindholz (CSU), said the red-green-red Berlin Senate was responsible for the chronic underfunding of the judiciary and police in the capital. Other countries are now also suffering from Berlin's helplessness in the face of escalating clan crime, she said, referring to the jewel robbery from the historic Green Vault in Dresden. Stephan Thomae (FDP) also said there was a lack of political support for the police in Berlin.
The federal government's integration commissioner, Reem Alabali-Radovan (SPD), said it was dishonest to speak of individual cases of violence by football hooligans in Dresden, and to talk about "the Arabs" in general about similar behavior by young people in Berlin-Neukölln.
Alexander Throm (CDU) insisted that the attacks in Berlin and other major cities involved "predominantly young men with a history of migration from certain milieus and districts". Therefore, in this context, one must also talk about integration. If the integration officer Alabali-Radovan says no, "then that's a refusal to work."
Gottfried Curio (AfD) spoke of "immigration from archaic cultures" that must be ended. Gökay Akbulut (left) condemned the violence against emergency services and at the same time referred to excesses of violence on the sidelines of football games and demonstrations. She said the CDU was "putting out one racist number after the other".
On February 12, the elections for the Berlin House of Representatives and for the twelve district assemblies will be repeated in Berlin. The reason for this are errors in the course of the elections, which took place parallel to the federal elections in September 2021.
Nationwide over 280 attacks on emergency services
According to a media report, there were at least 282 attacks on police and fire departments nationwide on New Year's Eve. The "Tagesspiegel" reports, citing its own survey of all 16 interior ministries of the federal states. However, some federal states such as Hesse and Baden-Württemberg did not give any numbers of attacks on emergency services, which is why the actual number is probably higher.
According to the newspaper, the highest number of attacks took place in Berlin. Here the police have now confirmed 59 reported attacks against police officers and 43 against the fire brigade and rescue service, it was said. In Lower Saxony, the Ministry of the Interior has confirmed attacks on 42 emergency services, and 42 emergency services were also injured on New Year's Eve in North Rhine-Westphalia. According to the Ministry of the Interior, there were 34 attacks on emergency services in Bavaria. Hamburg also reported a relatively large number of attacks on New Year's Eve with 19 attacks. In the other federal states, the attacks on emergency services were in the single digits.
The penal code already contains sufficient regulations to impose harsh penalties on people who think they can "dance on the nose of the rule of law," emphasized Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP). Criminal clans were "unfortunately part of everyday life" not only in Berlin, but also in his constituency of Gelsenkirchen. He keeps hearing complaints about extortion by Lebanese clans from traders with and without a migration background.
Bundestag at the current hour