Herbert Reul, a top German official and the Interior Minister of the North Rhine-Westphalia, has slammed those intending to protest against the country’s impending energy blackouts as “enemies of the state.”
Speaking to German news outlet NT, Reul described the protesters as “extremists” and revealed that German security forces are maintaining surveillance on supposed extremists who intend to infiltrate the protests and stage violence.
The protests are being planned through Telegram, which German authorities have previously tried and failed to ban.
“You can already tell from those who are out there,” said Reul. “The protesters no longer talk about coronavirus or vaccination. But they are now misusing people’s worries and fears in other fields. (…) It’s almost something like new enemies of the state that are establishing themselves.”
Reul downplayed valid concerns of impending power outages and gas shortages, stating that such issues were feeding “conspiracy theory narratives.”
As reported by Rebel News, Germany is set to face potential blackouts in the coming winter months as gas and energy shortages have sparked a surge in electric heater purchases by Germans concerned about freezing in the cold months.
While Reul and other German politicians may be quick to dismiss such concerns as “conspiracy theories,” Germans around the country have been panic buying electric heaters, stoves, and firewood.
The government has also advised citizens to limit their thermostats to 19°C (66.2 F) and ordered sports arenas and public spaces to be used as “warm-up spaces” for freezing citizens unable to afford their electric bills.
Germany’s energy shortage has been exacerbated by its reliance on so-called “renewable” energy and its reliance on Russian-derived fossil fuels, which have been cut off due to the government’s own sanctions against Russia.