Berlin was bracing itself for violence this May 1 and scuffles have started already.
Youths and police clashed last night, leading to a number of arrests and the fear is that this could just be a prelude to a day of disturbances.
Dating back to 1987, rioting has traditionally rocked the German capital on the May 1 Labour Day holiday, with extensive damage to parts of the city.
More recently, residents have seen a relative drop in violence, partly due to different police tactics aimed at defusing tension.
But this year an explosive atmosphere is feared, against the backdrop of Germany’s worst recession since World War Two and soaring unemployment.