Germany’s ruling parties are pushing for a constitutional change to allow the military to respond to domestic emergencies such as a terrorist attack.
The military is currently not allowed to deploy domestically
After years of debate, Germany moved closer to allowing its military to deploy within the country's borders. The leaders of Germany's ruling coalition agreed Sunday to push for a constitutional change allowing the military to help out local law enforcement in certain cases.
Germany places strict limits on its military given the excesses committed during the Nazi era. Yet politicians have argued that the military could fill an important role in the case of a terrorist attack, acting as a backup to police.
German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung welcomed the decision to “protect citizens in Germany” according to his spokesman.
Ruling parties find compromise
Some are concerned that the military will be used against protestors
Germany's Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had originally called for an even broader use of the military to respond to domestic terrorist threats. Many of these demands were scrapped in reaching the final compromise.
Volker Kauder, of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), emphasized Sunday that the military would only be used in extraordinary circumstances.
“We have finally found a way to deploy the Bundeswehr in specific, confined cases,” Kauder said.
Peter Struck, head of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), said he could imagine a scenario where German marines would help the coast guard during an emergency.
Worries over abuses of power
Schaeuble has called for broader use of the miltary domestically
Left Party parliamentarian Petra Pau criticized the plans, saying that the coalition wanted to officially condone what was already allowed “through the back door.”
Germany's Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper also warned in an editorial in its Monday edition that demonstrators and terrorists are often seen as being one in the same by law enforcement. The newspaper warned against the "militarization of domestic politics." and called for more "intensive discussion" before the constitutional change goes forward.
Investigators have found drugs used in the treatment of psychological problems at the house of the Germanwings co-pilot. The findings were reported by German weekly Welt am Sonntag.
It's put-up-or-shut-up time for the World Champions. After two successive disappointing results, Germany need a win against Georgia in the qualifiers for the 2016 European Championship.
Lashing rains made qualifying at the Malaysia Grand Prix a wild and wet adventure. But Mercedes' Lewish Hamilton was equal to the challenge and will start first ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in Sunday's race.