Gas Crisis Chaos: Minister Brands Unhappy Public ‘New Enemies of the State’ Amid Riot Warnings

STUTTGART, GERMANY - MAY 29: Police arrests a rioter at the first weekend after curfew at night cause of the corona virus pandemic on May 29, 2021 in Stuttgart, Germany. Partygoers, mostly young men, gathered in the city center, with little regard to coronavirus-related restrictions. Stuttgart had seen similar incidents …
Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images

Those taking the German government to task over the ongoing gas crisis have been branded the “new enemies of the state” by one government minister in the country.

An ostensibly “centrist” minister in Germany has branded those looking to hold officials accountable for their chronic mismanagement of the country as the “new enemies of the state”.

The minister — who is a member of former chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party — made the claim as authorities in the country begin to fear significant backlash for gas shortages in the winter, with one official saying that he is now expecting riots to occur if and when people are no longer able to heat their homes.

According to a report by broadcaster NTV, Herbert Reul, who serves as the Interior Minister for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, has now labelled members of the public challenging the extremely poor handling of Germany’s energy, cost of living, and COVID crises by the political class as “enemies of the state”.

The minister also now reportedly fears that such new opponents — whom he also brands conspiracy theorists — are now starting to truly establish themselves in the country.

“I’m worried that if things get really tangible — energy crisis, prices, cold living rooms, fuel is getting more and more expensive — that the ground for such narratives, for such conspiracy theories, will increase,” Reul reportedly told the news agency.

“It’s no longer about protesters, it’s almost about something like new enemies of the state that are establishing themselves,” he also reportedly claimed.

The state interior minister accused these opponents of “abusing the concerns of people’s fears in other fields”, complaining: “if you look at it on the Internet today, on Telegram,” these new political activists “are increasingly addressing the issues of the Ukraine war, the crisis, the gas crisis, prices, and are trying to get more people together”.

It appears that the CDU politician appears to believe that such activism targeting the general public’s major concerns in a democracy is a bad thing, though it is unclear exactly why he thinks this.

Reul’s complaints that such “enemies of the state” are now getting better organised and are becoming more sensitive to the concerns of the general German public come as politicians across the country begin to become more fearful of being held responsible for their chronic mismanagement of state affairs.

For example, the current gas crisis — largely the making of previous governments headed up by then-Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU, which pursued climate alarmist green goals while handing the country’s energy industry to Russia — has left Germany facing the possibility of winter supply shortages, during which many will either be monetarily or physically unable to heat their homes.

With officials seemingly unable to rescue the country from an impending disaster, many now fear that the public may turn on them, with one bigwig tasked with maintaining the integrity of the democratic German state warning that the country could soon see gas riots dwarfing any unrest seen during COVID.

“[A]fter the pandemic and the world events of the last few months, we are dealing with a highly emotional, aggressive, pessimistic mood among the population, whose trust in the state, its institutions and political actors is at least in some parts afflicted with massive doubts,” Stephen Kramer, the President of the Thuringian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, said during an interview last week.

“In this respect, we are likely to be confronted with mass protests and riots,” he continued, saying that what Germany has “experienced so far in the corona pandemic in the form of violent clashes on social networks, but also on the streets and squares, was probably more of a children’s birthday party” compared to coming social unrest.

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