Merkel faces sharp criticism after Hamburg riots

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was criticized for choosing Hamburg to host G20 summit

Last weeks G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany was overshadowed by deathly anti-globalist riots that left the city in chaos, and resulted in unprecedented violence. The riots continued for a third consecutive night, even after G20 leaders left Hamburg.

Before the dust has even settled in Hamburg, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel had to face political consequences of her decision to host G20 summit in Hamburg, a city known to be a stronghold of militant leftist groups.

One of the most popular newspapers in Germany, Bild, called the summit ‘a debacle’. “One should use with caution the words ‘failure of the state’. Sadly, it applies in Hamburg,” the newspaper published in an article on Saturday.

“Of course the police did all it could. But the street belonged to the mob. The feeling of general security that the state must guarantee has ceased to exist in Hamburg over the last 48 hours.”

The G20 summit, which hosted the world’s most influential leaders, including U.S. and Russian Presidents, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, saw nearly 20,000 policemen deployed on the streets of Hamburg. However, the far-left and anarchist groups clashed with the police, looted shops, burned barricades and threw rocks at the police during three days of chaos.

Merkel was criticized by one of the police unions for allowing the chaos, which resulted in 200 police and an unknown number of protesters injured.

“The politicians carry the sole responsibility for the many injured police officers and the destruction across the city,” said the union’s Hamburg chairman Jan Reinecke.

But criticism also came from the ranks of Merkel’s own ruling camp, with Bavarian CSU politician Hans-Peter Uhl saying that: “the G20 summit should never have been held in a city of millions like Hamburg. Security is way too difficult to control there.”

Others also expressed their outrage at the events in Hamburg.

“Embarrassment for Germany. The pictures of helpless police who could not secure state order and protection of property are a political catastrophe,” columnist Gerd Nowakowski wrote in a column in Tagesspiegel.

Spiegel Online wrote that Merkel: “must realise that it is mostly pictures of burning cars and black-clad radicals that will be remembered from the G20 summit”.

“Many had warned against hosting such a huge event in a major city with a left-wing radical scene. Now the worst fears have come true – and a dark shadow has been cast over the summit shortly before the national election.”

A new poll showed that a majority of Germans – 59 percent – believed the riots in Hamburg damage their country’s image.

Federal election in Germany is scheduled for September 24, with Merkel seeking her fourth term as Chancellor.

Source: The Local.de

Photo: Getty images