German Chancellor Accused Of Comparing Climate Activists To Nazis
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German chancellor Olaf Scholz has found himself the target of furious backlash after he appeared to compare climate protesters to Nazis.
According to German media outlet Stuttgarter Nachrichten, the Chancellor was speaking at a Catholic Day event in Stuttgart when a climate activist tried to storm the stage.
At the time, Scholz was talking about how phasing out coal-fired power plants would result in job losses.
It was after the climate change protester tried to storm the stage that Scholz made his comments that have since been interpreted as a Nazi reference.
"I’ll be honest: These black-clad displays at various events by the same people over and over again remind me of a time that is, thank God, long gone by," he said in a now-viral social media video.
"I have also been to events where five people sat dressed in the same way, each had a well-rehearsed stance, and then they do it again every time."
He then went on to claim that the actions by climate activists are an attempt to 'manipulate' the narrative surrounding the issue.
OK WIR MÜSSEN DARÜBER SPRECHEN. Olaf #Scholz wurde mit der Klimakrise konfrontiert. Seine Reaktion macht sprachlos. Und wir sollten genau hingucken. Denn das spricht Bände über das, was wir vom Kanzler in der Klimakatastrophe erwarten müssen. THREAD: pic.twitter.com/b48Yc9E2d1— Luisa Neubauer (@Luisamneubauer) May 29, 2022
"And that’s why I think that is not a discussion, that is not participation in a discussion, but an attempt to manipulate events for one’s own purposes. One should not do this."
The one-minute clip that triggered backlash against Scholz was shared by climate activist Luisa Neubauer.
Neubauer drew the comparison between the German Chancellor's words and the Nazi regime.
"Where does one begin? In just one half-sentence, the chancellor of the federal republic relativises the Nazi regime and, in a paradoxical way, also the climate crisis,” she wrote on Twitter.
"He stylises climate protection as an ideology with parallels to the Nazi regime. In 2022. Jesus.
"This is such a scandal."
Scholz won the German election by campaigning for action on climate change.
Wo fängt man an? Der Kanzler der Bundesrepublik relativiert in nur einem Halbsatz die NS-Herrschaft, und auf Paradoxe Art und Weise die Klimakrise gleich mit.— Luisa Neubauer (@Luisamneubauer) May 29, 2022
Er stilisiert Klimaschutz als Ideologie mit Parallele zur NS-Herrschaft. In 2022. Jesus. Das ist so ein Skandal. 10/
Government spokesperson Christiane Hoffmann has refused to even discuss Neubauer's claims, branding her accusation as 'absurd'.
"I would not want to comment on [the statements] here. But I can say that such a comparison is, of course, completely absurd," Hoffmann said, as per The Telegraph.
"The chancellor has made climate protection a priority of this legislative period of his chancellorship and he is, of course, always ready to deal with this topic and to discuss it."
Scholz's government plans to phase out coal by 2030, eight years earlier than Angela Merkel's 2038 target, according to Reuters.
In March, his government also brought forward its deadline for a full transition to renewable energy by 2035, five years earlier than Merkel's target.
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Topics: Environment, News, Politics