Mass anti-nuclear protests up pressure on Merkel

2011-03-26 14:22

Berlin – Tens of thousands of Germans took to the streets today to protest against nuclear power, increasing the pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel on the eve of a critical state election.

Under the banner “Fukushima means: no more nuclear power stations”, marches took place in Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and capital Berlin, ahead of the vote in wealthy Baden-Wuerttemberg tomorrow, where the nuclear issue is set to play a key role.

In Berlin alone, police said the “organisers’ aim of getting 50 000 would be basically achieved”.

“Today’s demonstrations are just the prelude to a new, strong, anti-nuclear movement. We’re not going to let up until the plants are finally mothballed,” said a spokesman for one of the main organisations running the protests.

“We call on the government to stop representing the interests of the energy companies and listen to the people, who are no longer prepared to accept the risks of atomic energy,” added Jochen Stay, spokesman for Ausgestrahlt.

Merkel decided on March 14, in light of the nuclear crisis in Japan, to hold a three-month moratorium on extending the lifetimes of Germany’s 17 reactors and to shut off the oldest seven temporarily pending safety checks.

Despite her protests to the contrary, electors believed this move to be electioneering, and reported comments from the economy minister seemingly confirming this added to Merkel’s woes ahead of tomorrow’s must-win election.

Her conservative CDU party was bracing for a tight result in the vote in a state they have held for 58 years.

Polls show that the ecologist Greens, spurred by anti-nuclear sentiment in the country, could make history and garner enough votes with the opposition Social Democrats to govern with Germany’s first Green state premier.

“We have to learn from Japan: nothing is impossible,” read one placard in Berlin as a float manufactured by the Greens portrayed a nuclear reactor being consigned “to the dustbin of history”. 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.