The ferocious street riots during the G20 summit earlier this month in Hamburg have fueled the discussion about political extremism and violence in Germany. One talking point is centered on the question if the state and the police reacted adequately, and how extremism should best be countered in general.
Just days before the summit, German Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière, presented an annual report on extremist activities in Germany. According to the domestic intelligence service (BfV), the overall number of politically motivated offenses is on the rise. In total, there were 23,555 offenses on the right, 9,389 on the left, and 3,372 offences committed by foreign actors (such as the Kurdish PKK and their sympathisers) in 2016.
According to a recent survey by YouGov, 81 percent of Germans are under the impression that extremism is on the rise too. 78 percent of the respondents thought the state wasn't on top of the situation. Asked how the state should react, 61 percent thought stricter sentencing would be advisable, 46 percent also thought that extremist parties should be outlawed. Just 3 percent thought the state was reacting correctly to extremism.
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