Matthias Ecke, German MEP from the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD), was seriously injured by unknown assailants who attacked him while he was putting up election posters, the police and the Minister of Justice announced on Saturday, May 4. Interior, which warned of a rise in “anti-democratic violence.”

The attack suffered Friday evening in Dresden, in eastern Germany, by the MEP, also head of the SPD list in the Saxony region for the European elections in June, is not the first targeting the latter month of German political representatives.

According to regional police, the 41-year-old elected official was “hit” by four strangers while putting up campaign posters for Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s party. He had to “receive medical treatment in hospital,” the statement added. Mr. Ecke was “seriously injured and requires surgery,” the Saxony SPD federation said.

Olaf Scholz condemns the attack

The police add that before this attack, a man putting up posters for the Green party, in the same street, was also hit “with punches and kicks”. Investigators say they suspect the same group of attackers, in particular because of “the match in the description” of the suspects. The investigation was entrusted to the State Protection services, meaning that the police are investigating the possibility of politically motivated violence.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz strongly condemned the attack, saying he was concerned about the increase in such violence which “threatens” democracy. “We must say that we must never resign ourselves to such acts of violence,” Mr Scholz told a congress of European socialist parties in Berlin. “Democracy is threatened by these kinds of acts. »

“If a politically motivated attack (…) is confirmed a few weeks before the European elections, this serious act of violence also constitutes a serious attack on democracy,” reacted the Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, in a press release.

Believing that this is a “new dimension of anti-democratic violence”, the minister invokes the responsibility of “extremists and populists, who are fueling a climate of increasing violence through totally disproportionate verbal attacks”.

“The seeds sown by the AfD are germinating”

SPD officials in Saxony have questioned the role of the far-right AfD party, which has seen strong growth in the polls over the past year. “The seeds sown by the AfD and other right-wing extremists are now germinating. Their supporters are now completely uninhibited and clearly consider us, the democrats, as game (…),” lamented Henning Homann and Kathrin Michel, regional leaders of the party.

Thursday evening, two elected officials from the Greens, a party which governs with the SPD, were attacked in Essen, in western Germany, and one of them was hit in the face, according to the police.

Last Saturday, a few dozen demonstrators attacked the vice-president of the Bundestag Katrin Göring-Eckardt, an elected environmentalist, after a festive event in eastern Germany. His car was blocked and police reinforcements had to be called to allow him to leave the scene.