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German politician attacked while putting up posters

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German politician Matthias Ecke, seen on a poster attached to a lamp post in Dresden on 4 May, was attacked by four people as he put up election material
Photo: AFP/ Jens Schlueter

By Ruth Comerford, BBC News

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has condemned an attack on a European Parliament member from his party, calling it a “threat” to democracy.

Matthias Ecke, the Social Democratic Party’s (SPD) top candidate in Saxony, was assaulted on Friday as he hung posters in Dresden.

Ecke, 41, was “seriously injured” and required an operation after the incident, police said.

The current MEP (Member of the European Parliament) was campaigning for June’s European Parliament election when four unknown attackers hit and kicked him in the Striesen district in Dresden, East Germany.

“Democracy is threatened by this kind of act,” Scholz told a congress of European socialist parties in Berlin.

“We must never accept such acts of violence… we must oppose it together.”

Shortly before the incident, the same group appear to have attacked a 28-year-old Greens campaigner on the same street, police said.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser warned “extremists and populists are stirring up a climate of increasing violence”.

The SPD blamed supporters of the far-right party Alternative for Germany party (AfD) for the attack.

“Their supporters are now completely disinhibited and apparently see us democrats as fair game,” Henning Homann and Kathrin Michel, who chair the SPD’s Saxony branch, said in the statement.

“The attack on Matthias Ecke is an unmistakable alarm signal to all people in this country.”

“Our democratic values ​​are under attack.”

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola expressed her solidarity with Ecke, saying she was “horrified” by the “vicious attack”.

On Thursday two Greens deputies were harassed while campaigning in Essen in western Germany and one was hit in the face, police said.

BBC News

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