«Demarcation line» crossed?

The SPD's criticism of the CDU/CSU's behavior in the security debate is becoming increasingly severe. Vice Chancellor Franz Muntefering said Wednesday that Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung (CDU) had crossed a "demarcation line" with his comments on shooting down hijacked passenger planes. SPD rights expert Klaus Uwe Benneter accused Jung and Federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble (CDU) of poisoning the coalition climate. Juso leader Bjorn Bohning called for Jung's resignation.

The "Passauer Neue Presse" (Wednesday edition) reported that Schauble wants to make it possible to shoot down hijacked passenger planes by amending the Basic Law. The Bundestag was set to debate Jung's remarks on Wednesday afternoon.Jung had announced that hijacked passenger planes that could be used for terrorist attacks could be shot down even without a legal basis, citing a "supra-legal emergency".Muntefering said: "That is not possible. This must be discussed internally." On Schauble's warnings of a nuclear terrorist attack, Muntefering said, "I am not happy about this way of dealing with such a serious ie."Schauble had said that many experts were convinced that it was only a question of when such an attack would occur and no longer whether it would happen. But the citizens should not spoil their remaining time with doomsday sentiment. Muntefering said this could not be left alone. This must be talked about. "If Wolfgang Schauble knows something, he must inform and do so internally. The members of the government and the heads of the parliamentary groups must receive information about what is known or suspected," he demanded.Benneter said: "A coalition will not do a good job if individual ministers poison the atmosphere with provocations."The SPD does not give Jung the hand to considerations contrary to the constitution. Schauble talks about some attacks with nuclear material, only to tell the population to spend the rest of their lives happily. "How a federal minister can soberly spout such nonsense is beyond me," said Benneter. Schauble spreads fear, but no security.Bohning demanded that Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) make it clear that her ministers stand on the ground of the Basic Law. Jung is no longer tenable because of his statements. "He should take his hat off," Bohning demanded.Former Federal Constitutional Court Judge Hans-Joachim Jentsch pointed out that the Federal Constitutional Court had forbidden the enactment of a law providing for the shooting down of hijacked civilian aircraft. But if there is no law, the Minister of Defense must decide for himself whether he wants to give such an order. He makes himself then "first punishable", but excuses himself at the same time with reference to a "supra-legal state of emergency".The "Passauer Neue Presse" reported that Schauble had prepared a catalog of wording proposals for an amendment to the Basic Law. According to this, through an addition to Article 87a, which regulates the task of the armed forces, the deployment of the Bundeswehr at home "in very extraordinary extreme situations" should be made possible, and "even if people not involved in the crime would also be affected". This would also make it possible to shoot down passenger planes. The Federal Ministry of the Interior argues that the dangerous situation is comparable to the "classic case of defense" and therefore also allows the use of military means. Schauble wants to change the Basic Law to allow the shooting down of passenger planes in exceptional cases "in the case of defense against attacks aimed at the elimination of the community and the destruction of the state's legal order and freedom. The Federal Constitutional Court has not yet taken a final position on this "solidary obligation to stand by".

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