Clashes between anti-globalisation demonstrators and police in central Hamburg have resulted in more than 50 arrests. At least 30 people were hurt in what began as a peaceful march against the Asia-Europe meeting of foreign ministers in the German city. Scuffles broke out after smoke and paint bombs were thrown. Police responded with water cannon and baton charges.
Security had been predictably tight as the meeting began – with the 4,000 or so protesters being kept well away from the discussion venue. The two-day meeting has a full agenda to work through, energy and climate questions are uppermost with Europe hoping to encourage its Asian partners to take a close interest in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The ministers will also focus on international conflicts as well as the development of nuclear technology in Iran and North Korea. While the talking continues, the unrest outside is an indication of what can be expected at next month’s G8 summit. Protest organisers have warned of a series of demonstrations.