German member of the European Parliament ‘seriously injured’ in Dresden assault

SPD leading candidate Matthias Ecke was seriously injured. | European Parliament

A leading Socialist member of the European Parliament was left ‘seriously injured’ and in need of surgery after being attacked by a group of four young men in the eastern German city of Dresden, according to a press release issued by his party Saturday.

Matthias Ecke, 41, was assaulted on Friday evening while putting up posters in the Striesen district, his party said. He is the Social Democratic Party’s (SPD) top candidate in Saxony for June’s European Parliament election.

“The attack on Matthias Ecke is an unmistakable alarm signal to all people in this country,” Henning Homann and Kathrin Michel, chairs of SPD’s Saxony branch, said in the statement. “Our democratic values ​​are under attack.”

The statement said there had been other attempts at intimidation and the destruction of posters. The assault is currently being investigated by the state criminal police office’s violent crimes task force.

The SPD blamed supporters of the far-right party Alliance for Germany (AfD) for the attack on Ecke. “Their supporters are now completely disinhibited and apparently see us democrats as fair game,” the statement said. Saxony is one of the AfD’s political strongholds.

Politicians expressed solidarity with Ecke on Saturday. Labor Minister Hubertus Heil, a fellow Social Democrat, said he was “angry and appalled by this act of violence” and wished Ecke a speedy recovery.

“Unfortunately, these attacks are not new,” said Saxony’s Interior Minister Armin Schuster on Saturday. “What is absolutely worrying is the intensity with which the attacks are currently increasing.”

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said she was horrified by the vicious attack and called for those responsible to be brought to justice. “Matthias, [the European Parliament] is at your side,” she wrote in a post on X.

Minutes before the attack on Ecke, a 28-year-old campaign worker for the Greens, who was also putting up posters, was attacked by a group of four people, German TV news Tageschau reported.

In the first week of the European election campaign, 51 politically motivated crimes against election posters were reported to the police, according to Saxony’s interior ministry. In total, 112 politically motivated crimes have been registered since the beginning of the year in connection with elections in Saxony, 30 of which were against officials or elected officials.


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