Plans in Berlin to Criminalize Social Protests as “Enemies of Democracy”
German Economics Minister Robert Habeck claims he shares the population’s worries about price inflation and severe cuts in living standards, but his policy is one of deindustrialization and drastic austerity. Rather than acting against speculators on energy markets, he intends to bail out the traders in danger of default by imposing a special new tax on private consumers and industries – which will probably be in the range of “hundreds of euros per household”. And that, in addition to the prices which will raise in any case.
At the same time, former Green Party leader Habeck insists that the strategic gas reserves can be filled up to 90% by November, but to do so, households and industry will have to make substantial voluntary efforts to reduce energy consumption. In terms of industry, the major companies are already moving “voluntarily” to cut energy consumption by up to 30-32%. The reality behind this is that real production is being cut, which means cuts in employment that will not be temporary. As for the “voluntary” effort of private persons, numerous charities and social organizations are warning that up to one third of households, particularly among those with low retirement pensions and incomes, or single mothers, will not be able to afford the higher costs.
Although on the surface still rather calm, anger is growing in Germany, and could explode in the autumn and winter period, with people taking to the streets. Farmers, who are hit with soaring prices for fertilizers, diesel fuel and electricity, in addition to drastic cuts in the use of pesticides imposed under the “green deal”, are planning a national protest event in Berlin for Aug. 26, andcraftsmen will follow two days later with a rally in Dessau.
The government is aware of this explosive build-up, as indicated by Interior Security Minister Nancy Faeser (of the SPD). But rather than changing its policies, she and others in Berlin conveniently warn that “extremists” plan to hijack the expected revolts. She claimed again last week that the “right-wing extremists” and other radicals who protested against the lockdown measures during the pandemic will now exploit the rising prices to mobilize the population behind a common denominator: “contempt for democracy and the attempt to shake confidence in our state”. She went on to blame Vladimir Putin for the inflation.
From there, it’s only a small step to demonizing anyone who criticizes the policies of Berlin and the EU as “enemies of democracy”. Could Brussels already be busy drawing up their own “blacklists”?