Derechos | Equipo Nizkor
88 police injured, more than 500 arrested in Frankfurt's anti-austerity protest
At least 88 policemen were injured and more than 500 people were arrested after anti-austerity protests in Frankfurt turned into clashes between protesters and police on Wednesday, local media reported.
Eight police officers were injured by stone-throwing, while another 80 by a corrosive liquid or irritant gas, Focus online quoted a police spokeswomen as saying.
Thousands of protesters took to the street in the German financial capital to protest against austerity measures of the European Central Bank (ECB) in the morning, as the ECB is scheduled to officially open its new office building, which is a 185-meter tall skyscraper and cost 1.3 billion euros (about 1.38 billion U.S. dollars).
Soon after the violence, German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel condemned the riots in Berlin.
The frightening image of violence could not be justified by anything, Gabriel said, adding the protests have demonstrated a significant lack of understanding and an "intellectual blunder."
About 6,000 people participated in the protests, and 1,000 of them are activists from outside Germany, according to Christoph Kleine, a spokesman for the organizer Blockupy Alliance.
Amid the protests, ECB president Mario Draghi opened the new ECB headquarters in the presence of about 100 invited guests.
The ECB president commented on the protests and the many unhappy people in the euro area who have lost income and wealth in recent years on account of the economic crisis.
"I assume that we can take up those who feel excluded, including many of the protesters, who have come together in Frankfurt this week," Draghi said.
According to police spokeswoman Erler, at least seven police cars have been burned in the violence.
Heavy security personnel deployment has been put in place. Police are vigilant and further attacks of violent protesters are expected, according to Erler.
Ulrich Wilke, an applicant of Blockupy demonstration, said he was shocked by the violence in the riots of protests.
The morning turned out to be a lot different than what he had expected, Wilke said. The attacks on the fire trucks are especially "totally incomprehensible", he added.
According to a spokesman for the protesters, many protesters were injured by water cannons, tear gas and police batons.
A witness told Xinhua that the windows of his car were smashed and he managed to left the scene at the escort of the police.
The ECB, along with the European Commission and International Monetary Fund, is part of the so-called "troika" that monitors compliance with the conditions of bailout loans for Greece and other financially troubled countries in Europe.
Those conditions are aimed at reducing debt but have also been blamed for high unemployment and slow growth.
[Source: Xinhua, Frankfurt and Berlin, 18Mar15]
Informes sobre DESC
|This document has been published on 19Mar15 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.|