Merkel welcomes "Fridays for Future" climate demos

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-02 23:36:23|Editor: ZX
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BERLIN, April 2 (Xinhua) -- The weekly climate protests by German students send positive vibes to the country's politicians, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday.

It is right that "you are putting pressure on us," said Merkel, who acknowledged the importance of the "Fridays for Future" movement during a discussion about climate protection with high school students here.

"The fact that this message is being sent out - that there is concern, that's good for us," stressed the German chancellor.

Although Merkel said that it would certainly not be possible to declare every Friday a school-free day in the long term, she told the students that "teachers and the local authorities will discuss this with you." One could also learn a lot about climate protection in class lessons, she said.

Meanwhile, Baden-Wuerttemberg's Minister President Winfried Kretschmann of the Green Party was critical of the student protests.

Speaking on Tuesday in Stuttgart, Kretschmann said that the moral appeal was justified and that the future of the students was really at stake.

However, while skipping school was once considered civil disobedience, "civil disobedience is a symbolic act. It cannot be permanent," he said.

Sooner or later, the German student strikes will have to come to an end, stressed Kretschman. At some point, there will be sanctions, "otherwise everyone will end up picking their own topic that they will somehow morally charge up - and that is not acceptable," said the Green politician.

For weeks, German students and supporters have been demonstrating every Friday for more action on climate change. The demonstrations have been quite controversial as students skip school to participate.