New Year's Eve riots: Berlin as a city of chaos? Giffey defends himself against criticism

Berlin's head of government, Franziska Giffey, is defending herself against criticism from CSU leader Markus Söder that Berlin is developing into a city of chaos.

New Year's Eve riots: Berlin as a city of chaos? Giffey defends himself against criticism

Berlin's head of government, Franziska Giffey, is defending herself against criticism from CSU leader Markus Söder that Berlin is developing into a city of chaos. "If 145 chaotic people mess up in a metropolis with almost four million people, you can't conclude that all the other residents here are also chaotic," said the SPD politician to the "Berliner Zeitung" (Saturday). "Bavaria also has a lot to sweep in front of its own door, for example in terms of Reich citizenship. I don't give Mr. Söder any advice either."

On the night of New Year's Day, police officers and firefighters were attacked in several German cities, including with firecrackers and rockets. The attacks were particularly violent in some areas of Berlin. Söder said after the riots: "Unfortunately, Berlin is developing into a city of chaos - starting with politics, which can neither organize elections nor guarantee the safety of its citizens." CDU leader Friedrich Merz had also criticized the Berlin state government in the "Münchner Merkur".

Tightening of gun laws planned

Since the riots, the consequences and future prevention have been discussed at the political level. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) said on Friday that she wanted to tighten gun laws, especially with regard to the purchase of alarm guns. When visiting a fire station, Giffey emphasized that fast and consistent law enforcement was needed.

She gave the "Berliner Zeitung" a total of five points. In addition to criminal prosecution, Giffey mentioned more staff and equipment for the police and fire brigade, the commitment to tightening gun laws at federal level, additional investments in social and youth work on site and a special program to support and improve the living situation in large housing estates together with the district management .

The debate about the riots on New Year's Eve falls into the Berlin election campaign. On February 12, the election to the House of Representatives is to be repeated in the capital because, according to the state constitutional court, there were numerous breakdowns and organizational deficiencies in the previous vote. A coalition of SPD, Greens and Left Party currently governs in Berlin.

FDP demands strengthening of the rule of law

The FDP parliamentary group leader in the House of Representatives, Sebastian Czaja, demanded on Saturday on rbb Inforadio that a stronger judiciary was needed. More jobs should be created and the judges given more opportunities to respond to everyday issues in the city with good equipment and more staff. "A functioning rule of law would be necessary."

In the "Berliner Zeitung" Giffey was interviewed together with Raed Saleh, with whom she heads the SPD state association. Will the Berlin bashing annoy you? "It's part of a coordinated strategy within the Union," Saleh said. Merz and Söder tried to influence the election campaign in Berlin and "talk the city bad and ruin it with right-wing rhetoric". When asked whether China was being smashed for possible coalition talks, Saleh replied that they were continuing to work hard and focused for Berlin and would do anything to win again.

A survey in December had seen the CDU and SPD on a par. In the "Berlin Trend" of the opinion research institute Insa on behalf of "Bild", the Social Democrats as well as the CDU had come to 21 percent. The Greens followed closely behind with 20 percent. According to the survey from mid-December, the left was 12 percent, the AfD 10 percent and the FDP 6 percent.

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