They stick to motorways, block airports and use every opportunity to draw attention to themselves: the demonstrators of the “last generation”. While many Germans shake their heads in annoyance, Deputy President of the Bundestag Katrin Göring-Eckardt defends the activists.

In a kind of annual review, Vice President Katrin Göring-Eckardt (Greens) spoke to the “T-Online” portal about the issues that were important in 2022. In this context, the question of a divided society received a great deal of attention. In addition to the corona crisis, inflation and war, another group was at stake: the climate activists of the “last generation”.

The demonstrators repeatedly resort to radical measures to gain maximum attention: they stick themselves to freeways, block airports or simply saw off the top of a Christmas tree.

When asked how far such a grouping should go, the politician replies: “Climate protection means complying with our constitution” and explains that the state is obliged to be climate neutral in order to protect the freedom of future generations. Goering-Eckardt goes on to say that she shares the activists’ tenacity, “but not all forms of protest.”

In any case, the Green politician finds it “absurd” that CDU leader Friedrich Merz equates the demonstrators with “Reich citizens”: “The activists do not endanger human lives, as is sometimes claimed,” she says. This also applies to blocked roads, which may have made it difficult for rescue workers to get to their missions: “I find the debate pointless given the many traffic jams caused by motorists.” In their opinion, the activists would do everything to ensure that rescue lanes open up can form.

In the end, Göring-Eckardt couldn’t resist a dig at the national team. When asked how Germany as a society could become more resilient, she replies: “We’ve lived with wear and tear for years. With climate policy, our critical infrastructure and social security – and maybe also with the national team.”

There is an urgent need to restore and modernize the foundations of our society. So-called resilience also includes strength and exchange: “People have to feel like they have a home.”

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