Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere presented a number of proposals Tuesday to prevent terrorism by centralizing intelligence and security services.
De Maiziere argues that Germany’s preparedness to combat terrorism is paralyzed by the decentralized government structure designed by the allied powers after World War II. Many powers held by the federal government were given to the German states to prevent the rise of another Adolf Hitler.
“We don’t have federal jurisdiction to deal with national catastrophes. The jurisdiction for the fight against international terrorism is fragmented,” de Maiziere wrote in an op-ed published by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “The security of the state must be able to be controlled by the state.”
De Maiziere — a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union — mainly wants to hand the Office for the Protection of the Constitution over to the federal government, saying no one seeks to destroy the governmental order “in one state alone.” A national structure would also make it easier to handle the migrant influx and deport a larger number of people, according to the interior minister. (RELATED: Berliners Come To Terms With Terrorism Being The New Normal)
Several attempts to reform the organization of the government have been rejected since the reunification of Germany in 1990. Touching the setup is widely considered taboo across the political spectrum in Germany, and many politicians spoke out against de Maiziere’s ideas.
“I think Mr. de Maiziere is making a big mistake,” said Sigmar Gabriel, the German vice chancellor, according to The New York Times.
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