Germany denies chancellor’s criticism of climate protestors incited raids

A German government spokesman on Friday dismissed the idea that Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s remarks criticizing climate change activists may have sparked a raid against them this week.

Police on Wednesday raided more than a dozen properties across Germany linked to the group Last Generation and seized assets as part of its financial investigation. Munich prosecutors said they were investigating whether the group was a criminal organisation, after numerous public complaints about repeated roadblocks and other protests.

Days before the raid, Scholz said he thought he was “totally insane to be stuck in a painting or on the street in any way”.

Left-wing German Chancellor condemns ‘crazy’ climate change demonstrators blocking roads, polluting art

Members of The Last Generation hit back, describing the attack as a blow to democracy and accusing Scholz of downplaying young people’s concerns about global warming.

Chancellor Scholz’s spokesman Wolfgang Buchner said it was not known whether the chancellor had prior knowledge of the attack, but that it would be unusual if it was true.

Asked whether Bavarian prosecutors might have taken Scholz’s remarks as a signal to crack down on the group, Buchner strongly denied that.

A spokesman for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says the head of state’s recent remarks ridiculing destructive climate change protests had something to do with the raids on properties owned by Last Generation officials. denied. (Andreas Rosal/DPA via AP)

“The German Chancellor must be able to answer frankly what he thinks about the protests,” he said. “I think the Prime Minister has done this in the proper way.”

Buchner said the German government remains committed to tackling climate change and protesters must comply with the law.

German police surround and crack down on anti-coal protesters camp

A UN spokesperson said on Thursday that while governments have an obligation to abide by the law, “people also have a basic right to demonstrate peacefully to have their voices heard.”

Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York, “A lot of the progress we’ve seen in climate change awareness and positive climate change movement is that people are demonstrating peacefully around the world. It is clear that it is based on facts,” he said.

“Climate change advocates, led by the moral voices of young people, have kept this agenda moving in the darkest of days. They must be protected and we are now more than ever. We need them,” he told German news agency dpa.


Last Generation and other groups said they were planning more protests in Germany in the coming days.

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