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germany_street
(07/17/07) -

Germans Decry Minister’s Counter-Terrorism Views

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Most people in Germany disagree with a recent proposal made by interior minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, according to a poll by Forsa released by n-tv. 63 per cent of respondents believe it is inappropriate to ban the use of the Internet and mobile phones to suspected terrorists, and permit the targeted assassinations of terrorists.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Most people in Germany disagree with a recent proposal made by interior minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, according to a poll by Forsa released by n-tv. 63 per cent of respondents believe it is inappropriate to ban the use of the Internet and mobile phones to suspected terrorists, and permit the targeted assassinations of terrorists.

In November 2005, Christian-Democratic Union (CDU) leader Angela Merkel was sworn in as Germany’s first female head of government. The current administration includes members of the CDU, the Bavarian Christian-Social Party (CSU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

Germany participates in the United States-led war against terrorism in Afghanistan. With around 3,000 troops, Germany has the third largest contingent in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). At least 625 soldiers—including 21 Germans—have died in the war on terrorism, either in support of the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom or as part of ISAF.

Last week, Schaeuble told a newspaper that Germany should step up its fight against terrorism with more radical policies, such as allowing the targeted killings of terrorists. Schaeuble said Berlin would have to “clarify whether our constitutional state is sufficient for confronting new threats.” The interior minister has been criticized by members of all parties for his remarks.

SPD parliamentary chief Peter Struck dismissed Schaeuble’s ideas, saying, “(The proposals) could only be implemented in a police state. (…) It won’t do for basic values of our constitution to be called into question. Human rights and the right to life are untouchable. This also goes for Osama bin Laden’s life.”

Polling Data

Do you think the security measures to deal with terrorism suggested by interior minister Wolfgang Schaeuble—which include a ban on the use of the Internet and mobile phones by suspected terrorists and the targeted assassinations of terrorists—are appropriate or inappropriate?

Appropriate

32%

Inappropriate

63%

Not sure

5%

Source: Forsa / n-tv
Methodology: Interviews with 1,001 German adults, conducted on Jul. 9 and Jul. 10, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.