Acts of politically motivated violence are increasing in Germany, according to new official figures. Incidents connected to left-wing politics have risen sharply, while those on the right remain high.
Over the past year, German authorities registered more than 31,000 politically motivated offences and over 2,800 acts of violence - an increase in both categories of 15 percent.
Crimes from the left rose by 40 percent, but remained far below those related to rightwing politics. Despite a small fall, there were twice as many right-wing crimes in Germany, at 17,000, than those from the left.
Speaking in Berlin on Tuesday, Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere labeled the development "worrisome," stressing that there was no room for complacency.
At the same time, xenophobic offences rose by more than one-tenth, while xenophobic crimes increased almost 20 percent.
"Xenophobia in words and deeds harm Germany," de Maiziere said in Berlin on Tuesday.
"Given the increase in crimes seen against homes for asylum seekers, we need to be extremely sensitive," he added. De Maiziere said authorities now want to centrally collect instances of crimes against asylum centers and record these separately in statistics.
The figures show violent crimes in connection with demonstrations have increased, of which leftwing perpetrators were responsible for most, at almost 85 percent. Almost 1,900 people were injured last year by politically motivated violence, 283 more than last year.
Of particular concern, de Maiziere said, were increasing attacks on police officers. More than 170 police officers were injured last December in Hamburg, as protesters demonstrated against forced evictions from the squatter home Rote Flora, which had become a popular rallying point for activists.
jr/dr (dpa, AFP, epd)