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CRIME

Germans turn to crime to combat high petrol prices

The high price of petrol is leading more and more Germans to engage in illegal activities in order to keep their tanks full without going bankrupt, an article published in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper said.

Germans turn to crime to combat high petrol prices
Photo: DPA

The paper reported an incident in Düren, a Rhineland town between Aachen and Cologne where several people filled up at an illegal station.

The station’s supplier was a 60-year-old worker from a nearby construction company who siphoned off thousands of litres of diesel fuel from his company’s reserve tanks.

Police said the fuel was selling for well below one euro per litre at the “station.”

On Thursday German auto club ADAC said February was the most expensive month in German history for petrol prices, with average costs for Super E10 at €1.59 per litre, or 5.1 cents higher than in January. Prices have since gone up further.

Authorities said it wasn’t just people with a criminal record who stopped to fill up, but families and customers of the firm.

The scheme, which was uncovered in December, wasn’t the only one in Düren. A worker at an agricultural cooperative in town was charging 75 cents per litre for diesel fuel he siphoned off from his employer.

Many local people also took advantage of this, the newspaper wrote, saying some 41,000 litres were sold by the 43-year-old worker before he was detected by a security camera.

Now that both schemes have been uncovered, drivers in Düren have to pay what everybody else in the country does, the paper wrote. Those prices are running at over €1.54 per litre for diesel and €1.65 for super.

The Local/mw

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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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