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G7 Summit: Cobra and WEGA also in "disappointing" big demos

G7 Summit: Cobra and WEGA also in “disappointing” big demos

At the G7 summit in Elmau, Bavaria, emergency services from Austria will also ensure safety on the weekend. Interest in demo disappointed. According to police estimates, there were about 4,000 people on Saturday evening, from 6,000 to 7,000 according to the organizers, and the number of protesters is expected to reach 20,000.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, after the Bavarian police requested support from Austria, 53 police officers from the Wega special unit and 25 Cobra troops were sent to the neighboring country. In addition, four drone operators and some officers from the Criminal Investigation Department will be deployed at the conference venue near Schloss Elmau.

20,000 emergency services exist

A total of 20,000 emergency services were deployed from across Germany over the weekend. “The Einsatzkommando Cobra and Wega have the highest reputation outside Austria’s borders. The Bavarian police’s request for support in a high-security event such as the G7 summit is a sign of how much the professionalism of these professionals is also appreciated in other countries,” said Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) in a broadcast.

The heads of state and government of the seven major western industrialized nations — the United States of America, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan — gather for the G7 summit from Sunday to Tuesday in southern Germany.

Austria reinforces its forces on the German border

The deployment of Austrian troops was planned from 24 to 29 June. At the same time, security forces from many federal states also remain ready in Tyrol – these include about 200 members of operational units from Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria and Vorarlberg. Wega and Cobra already have operational experience in Germany. I was at the G20 summit in Hamburg in 2017.

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G7’s big demonstration was less than expected

The large demonstration announced at the G7 summit in Munich on Saturday attracted much fewer participants than expected. More than two hours after the event began, police spoke of about 4,000 participants, and organizers said there were 6,000 protesters at the time.

Subsequently, Martin Gellhof of Bond Natureschutz in Bayern spoke about 7,000 people. In any case, this was only about a third of the expected number of protesters, because at least 20,000 people were originally expected.

“Totally peaceful”: two police officers were injured

According to the police, after the protest march in the state capital, near the end of the meeting in the Teresinoisi region, there was a brief confrontation between some protesters and the emergency services. Police spokesman Andreas Franken spoke of a solidarity campaign organized by the “black bloc”. Clubs were also used.

Police said two officers sustained minor injuries. However, the situation calmed down rather quickly. The reason for the arrest of one of the participants was initially unclear. In general, the police came to a positive conclusion from the demonstration. “The gathering was completely peaceful,” the spokesman said.

Activists: “We are disappointed”

Activists were already amazed at Theresienwiese and surprised by the small number of visitors. “We are disappointed,” said Andrea, 46, of Greenpeace Hannover. It seems as if only organizations are on site, but none of the residents. “The weather isn’t that bad,” she said. 15 anti-globalization associations from ATAK to the environmental organization WWF called for the rally in Munich

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Stores closed and outdoor areas closed

In the tourist resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, many shops and restaurants closed due to the summit. Some bars had already closed on Saturday, a day before the summit began, and cordoned off their outdoor areas. In many stores as well as in a bank branch, there were notices telling them that they would be closed during the summit meeting.

Unlike the last G7 meeting in Elmau seven years ago, initially there were no big hurdles or barriers. In 2015, many residents were particularly concerned about the so-called Lüftlmalereien on the facades of their homes. “We are counting on the police this time,” said a souvenir shop owner. However, the auction house specializing in classic cars brought in heavier artillery. Shipping containers were placed in front of it to protect the old cars.

G7 at Elmo Castle

As in 2015, the G7 summit will be held in Schloss Elmau in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen region. From June 26 to 28, the heads of state and government of seven leading Western industrialized countries and some guest countries will gather there. In addition to Germany, the G7 includes the USA, Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan.