Germany deploys 22,000 police officers at G7 venue

Protesters converge on Alpine town where leaders of industrial nations will discuss security, energy and the economy.

    More than 22,000 police have been deployed in the German Alpine resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen as thousands protest in advance of the arrival of G7 leaders for a two-day summit.

    The demonstrations have so far been peaceful, Hans-Peter Kammerer, a police spokesman, said on Saturday, but that significant numbers of "extremists" from Germany, Austria, Italy and Britain were thought to be joining the expected crowd of about 8,000.

    Al Jazeera's Dominic Kane, reporting from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, said "protesters have promised to try to disrupt the proceedings as much as they can".

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    The leaders in attendance are expected to discuss such global issues as security, energy and the economy.

    Simon Ernst, a spokesperson for the protesters, said they wanted to show their anger at the G7 leaders, calling them "the henchmen of bankers and corporations".

    Oxfam, the anti-poverty charity, staged a colourful protest on Saturday, depicting the G7 leaders with huge heads and kitted out with walking boots and maps.

    The charity is urging the leaders from the Group of Seven industrial countries to find the "right path" to overcome poverty and inequality. 

    Steffen Kuessner, a spokesperson for Oxfam, said social inequality was missing from the leaders' agenda.

    "The leaders have lost their way on the path to a world without poverty," said Kuessner.

    "They have to choose the right path between growing social inequality or fighting poverty, and to do so they must reform international tax regulations, among other things."

    Meanwhile, the hostess of the summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is calling for the G7 leaders to throw their weight behind a long-standing pledge to seek $100bn to help poor countries tackle climate change.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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