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Germany: Topless women protest against Russian gas in Scholz protest

Topless protesters flanked German chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday to demonstrate against Berlin’s reliance on Russian gas.

Two women, whose bodies were painted with the words “gas embargo now”, staged the protest during an open-day event at the Chancellery in Berlin, where the German leader had been posing for photographs with members of the public.

They were quickly led away by the chancellor’s security team.

Some commentators have criticised Mr Scholz for not taking stronger actions against the Russian energy sector, following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine six months ago.

However, his ruling coalition argues that a full embargo would lead to a severe economic fallout for Germany. Instead, it has indicated that it will phase out Russian oil imports by the end of the year and Russian gas imports by as early as mid-2024.

The topless demonstration came at the end of a difficult week for Mr Scholz, who has struggled to maintain public support amid soaring inflation.

The 64-year-old was heckled by crowds in the town of Neuruppin on Wednesday, as he gave a speech about his government’s plans to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

He got into hot water by failing to immediately contradict palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas at a joint news conference in Berlin when he accused Israel of committing “50 Holocausts”.

And on Friday the opposition party in Hamburg accused him of obscuring the truth at a hearing into a major tax scam that took place during his tenure as mayor of the northern port city – charges he denies, instead protesting memory lapses.

To compound these events, a poll released on Sunday found that his approval rating had slipped from 46 per cent in March to just 25 per cent in August.

In total, 62 per cent of Germans think the Social Democratic Party (SPD) politician is doing a bad job, up from 39 per cent five months ago.

Xural.com

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