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German protests call for earlier nuclear exit

German protests call for earlier nuclear exit
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Thousands of Germans took to the streets on Saturday to call on their government to hasten the country’s exit from nuclear power.

Organisers of Saturday’s marches in 21 cities said 160,000 people took part.

The biggest was in the capital Berlin, where 25,000 reportedly turned up.

Environmental groups want Germany to switch off atomic power within six years.

The protesters want the changes to the country’s energy policy to happen as soon as possible, with the shortfall being made up by using renewable sources.

In March, after the disaster in Japan, Chancellor Angela Merkel reversed a 2010 decision to extend the lifespan of Germany’s 17 nuclear power plants.

She has appointed a panel of industry and civil society advisers to determine when they should be shutdown.

Insiders quoted by the DPA news agency said they will advocate their closure by 2021.