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Saturday, 4 August, 2001, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
German minister wants Euro riot force
German interior minister Otto Schily
Schily: Elected leaders cannot be dictated to by militants
The German Interior Minister, Otto Schily, has suggested setting up a European riot police force to deal with situations such as the violence that erupted at the July G8 summit meeting in Genoa.

In a newspaper interview, Mr Schily calls for the creation of "specially-trained police forces to, if possible, help defuse and, if necessary, combat violence with appropriate force".

"We cannot allow violence from militant activists to dictate where and how democratically-elected state leaders hold their meetings," he says.

I propose the creation of specially-trained police forces... to help defuse and, if necessary, combat violence with appropriate force

German Interior Minister
Otto Schily
Italian police have been criticised for the death of one protester and injuries to others during the Genoa summit.

Mr Schily said the new police force could be modelled on the European border police now being trained to work in European countries, which allow people to travel between them without passports.

In an interview with the German Sunday newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Mr Schily also recalled he had suggested setting up a European database of demonstrators who advocated the use of violence.

Protesters carrying red flag
The tough police action in Genoa has sparked protests in Germany
Of more than 33,000 left-wing radicals in Germany, some 400 anti-globalisation activists could be placed in that category, he added.

Left-wing groups in Germany have held demonstrations across the country to protest at the police violence in Genoa.

The head of Italy's anti-terrorism unit, the deputy chief for the summit security, and the head of Genoa's police have been moved to other duties after an internal police enquiry.

A parliamentary commission of inquiry has also been set up.

Before Genoa, the Swedish city of Gothenburg also witnessed scenes of violence as protesters clashed with police.

Policing methods

Officers in Gothenburg were criticised for not being adequately prepared for the scale of the violence, and of adopting too lenient an approach early on.

In Italy, the security forces are accused of veering to the other extreme.

The most controversial incident in Genoa came when police raided a school where some of the demonstrators were staying.

Protesters said they were beaten without provocation during the raid, and were denied access to lawyers and immediate medical help.

See also:

02 Aug 01 | Europe
Expats condemn Italian police
22 Jul 01 | Europe
Eyewitness: Genoa police raid
22 Jul 01 | Europe
Genoa counts the cost
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