Car crashes into gates of Angela Merkel’s office: Vehicle with ‘stop the globalization policies’ written on it rams perimeter ahead of Chancellor’s meeting to discuss lockdown extension
- A car was seen crashing into the main gate of the chancellery in Berlin today
- It was emblazoned with messages raging at globalisation and ‘murderers’
- There were no immediate reports of casualties and no sign of major damage
- Merkel was due to hold a meeting with regional premiers to discuss Covid-19
A car crashed into the gates of Angela Merkel’s office in Berlin today, hours before the German chancellor was due to discuss extending the coronavirus lockdown.
The Volkswagen estate car was emblazoned with messages raging at ‘globalisation policies’ and ‘you damn murderers of children and old people’.
Bizarrely, it appeared to be the same car which had performed an almost identical stunt in 2014 – on that occasion bearing one slogan about climate change and another saying ‘Nicole, I love you’.
Police were searching the car with sniffer dogs after it hit the perimeter gates, but it was not clear who the driver was or what happened to them.
There were no reports of casualties and the collision appeared to have caused little damage, but dozens of police and a fire engine were on the scene.
A car crashed into the gates of German chancellor Angela Merkel’s office in Berlin today
A man in a wheelchair was escorted by police and firefighters following the crash in Berlin
The painted message on this side of the car called for an end to ‘globalisation policies’
The message on the other side raged at ‘you damn murderers of children and old people’
The car had licence plates from the North Rhine-Westphalia area of Lippe, and was driven away by the Berlin fire department showing little sign of damage. The metal gate to the chancellery appeared slightly bent.
Berlin police spokesman Hartmut Paeth said police were on the scene investigating the incident, but had no details about injuries or arrests.
Merkel was scheduled to host a meeting with Germany’s 16 state governors today and was expected to extend lockdown measures well into December.
Lockdown measures have drawn protests in Berlin that have attracted an assortment of conspiracy theorists, right-wing extremists and far-left activists.
While Germany’s death rate is lower than in most of Western Europe, infections have proved stubbornly high even as other countries are seeing a decline in new cases.
Health authorities today announced a record jump of 410 new deaths, while infections were higher than a week ago.
Europe is on high alert after militants killed eight people in Paris, Nice and Vienna in recent weeks, although the reasons behind today’s crash were not initially clear.
The chancellery, a post-modernist structure set across a square from the Reichstag building that houses Germany’s parliament, is well set back from any main roads.
Merkel, pictured ahead of a cabinet meeting today, is expected to approve an extension to lockdown measures when she speaks to the leaders of Germany’s 16 states
Police were searching the car with sniffer dogs after it crashed into the main gate
Police and firefighters were outside the chancellery after a car crashed into the main gate on Wednesday morning