Sunday 10th January 2021
After storming the US Capitol
Police increase protection of the Bundestag
The violent assault on the US Capitol also has consequences for German politics: According to Bundestag President Schäuble, the Reichstag will now be better guarded by the Berlin state police. Top politicians react differently to the tightening of security precautions.
In response to the storm on the US Capitol in Washington, the Berlin police increased their presence to protect the Bundestag. Parliament President Wolfgang Schäuble informed the members of the Bundestag in a letter that “Bild am Sonntag” has received: “The Berlin state police have already had their forces strengthened in the vicinity of the Reichstag building.”
He himself had asked the Foreign Office for a report on the riots in the USA and would “clarify with the federal government and the state of Berlin what conclusions can be drawn from this in order to safeguard the Bundestag”. A police spokesman had already announced on Thursday that the protective measures for important buildings in the capital would be “adjusted”. This applies to the Reichstag building and objects in the USA.
Angry supporters of the elected US President Donald Trump broke into the Washington Capitol, the seat of the American Parliament, on Wednesday. Five people, including a police officer, died in connection with the rioting. In Berlin, supporters of the so-called lateral thinkers movement stormed the steps of the Reichstag building at a demonstration in August.
Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder told Welt am Sonntag about the events in Washington: “Bad thoughts turn into bad words and at some point also bad deeds. That’s why we in Germany not only have to improve security measures for democratic institutions, but fundamentally the sect-like movement of the ‘lateral thinkers’ and other comparable groups in view. ”
FDP and Greens partly cautious
The Bundestag vice-presidents of the FDP and the Greens, Wolfgang Kubicki and Claudia Roth, were still skeptical about a possible tightening of the security precautions at the Reichstag on Thursday. “We will not turn the Bundestag into a citadel, because that is exactly the goal of the enemies of democracy to destroy the openness of our parliament,” said Roth of the “Augsburger Allgemeine”. Kubicki told the newspaper: “A similar attack would not be feasible with our security concept.”
He does not rule out “that people in Germany orient themselves to the disturbing images in Washington and have similar things in mind,” said Kubicki. “But I think it’s very unlikely.” Regardless of this, he sees the Bundestag “well prepared for such a case”.
The parliamentary managing director of the Greens parliamentary group, Britta Haßelmann, said, however, that the Bundestag must take into account the security needs of employees and members of parliament. “We have to protect parliament from destructive and anti-parliamentary attacks,” she said.