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Von der Leyen warns of risk to democracy from attacks on politicians in Germany

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Berlin, May 8: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called on Wednesday for decisive action to address attacks on politicians in Germany.

Von der Leyen’s remarks, in a speech to her centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) in Berlin, come after a series of attacks on politicians, most recently on a Green Party candidate in Dresden as well as the local leader in Berlin of the Social Democrats (SPD) on Tuesday.

“When we talk about threats to our democracy, it’s not just about positions and content. It’s also about people,” the German politician said.

“If these people are no longer safe, then our democracy is no longer safe either.”

She said that perpetrators must “feel the full force of the law”.

“We must protect all those who stand up for our democratic society and our country from attacks — regardless of which party they belong to, whether privately, during election campaigns, or in the exercise of their duties, day or night.”

Von der Leyen stressed that this applies to politicians at every level, from local town councils to the German Parliament as well as the European Parliament.

On Friday of last week, SPD leader Matthias Ecke, a member of the European Parliament, was beaten and seriously injured by four young men while putting up campaign posters in the eastern German city of Dresden.

IANS

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