German interior minister sounds alarm on growing risks to democracy

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser warns of rising threats to democracy from far-right elements and espionage

News Desk June 18, 2024
BfV head Thomas Haldenwang and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser. PHOTO: REUTERS

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has warned of growing threats to the country's democracy from far-right elements and increased espionage activities by Russia and China, according to RTV News.

Presenting the 2023 report from the domestic intelligence agency Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Faeser stressed the importance of defending democratic values against these pressures.

The report by the BfV, Germany's domestic intelligence agency, identified far-right extremists as a major concern, with a marked increase in related criminal activities.

Espionage activities by Russia and China were also flagged as significant threats, with efforts to influence and destabilise the country.

The BfV report detailed a surge in politically motivated crimes, particularly those with an extremist background.

In 2023, the number of such crimes reached 39,433, reflecting a worrying trend of increasing radicalisation.

Read also: Hundreds of thousands demonstrate against right-wing extremism in Germany

Faeser highlighted that Germany's democratic institutions are coming under considerable pressure from both internal and external threats.

BfV President Thomas Haldenwang echoed these concerns, highlighting an increased risk of extremist Islamist attacks and a rise in antisemitic sentiments in the wake of Israel's war on Gaza.

Haldenwang noted that extremist Islamist attacks remain a serious risk, with antisemitism being a notable issue following recent geopolitical tensions.

The report noted a significant increase in crimes with extremist backgrounds, totalling 39,433 in 2023, up from previous years.

The German government is taking these warnings seriously, with Faeser calling for a robust response to protect democratic principles.


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