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Germany: Climate activists glue themselves to runways, causing major travel disruption

Security personnel and police officers stand near climate activists from the group Last Generation who stuck themselves to tarmac at Hamburg Airport, Germany, July 13, 2023.
Security personnel and police officers stand near climate activists from the group Last Generation who stuck themselves to tarmac at Hamburg Airport, Germany, July 13, 2023. Copyright Bodo Marks/(c) Bodo Marks
Copyright Bodo Marks/(c) Bodo Marks
By Euronews with AP
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Germany's transport minister slammed the "criminal activity" of 'Last Generation' activists who gained access to airports in Hamburg and Düsseldorf, leaving holidaymakers facing lengthy delays

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Climate activists caused major disruption at two airports in Germany on Thursday morning after breaching fences around the sites and blocking access to the runways on the first day of the school holidays.

Flight operations at Hamburg Airport in the north of the country were suspended when members of the activist group 'Last Generation' glued themselves to the runway. 

Dozens of flights were cancelled and ten arriving planes had to be diverted to other airports, Germany’s dpa news agency reported. Flights resumed at 9:50 am local time. 

'Last Generation' members also cut through a security fence at Düsseldorf airport, in the west of the country, and blocked an access route for aeroplanes.

David Young/(c) Copyright 2023, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten
Police officers and security personnel stand on the airfield and try to detach activists of the group Last Generation in Duesseldorf, July 13, 2023David Young/(c) Copyright 2023, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten

In a statement, the group accused the German government of lacking a strategy to tackle the climate crisis and called for immediate measures to cut emissions in the transportation sector, including ending tax exemptions for airline kerosene.

Senior German government officials condemned the protests and called for them to end.

“The Last Generation isn’t protecting the climate, they’re engaged in criminal activity,” said Transport Minister Volker Wissing, who has blocked several proposals for cutting emissions from road and air travel in recent years.

Prosecutors raided the homes of several of the group's members in May on suspicion of forming or supporting a criminal organisation.

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