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More anti-lockdown protests seen in Germany as coronavirus fatigue spreads in Europe

Anti-lockdown protests were seen across Germany at the weekend as fatigue over restrictions grows in the region’s largest economy, and beyond.

A number of protests against the government’s coronavirus policy and restrictive measures took place in various Germany cities, including Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart, on Saturday.

More than 5,000 people gathered in Stuttgart, with police having to direct protesters to different locations in order to maintain social distancing measures, public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported. Another 1,000 people demonstrated at the site of the now-canceled Oktoberfest beer festival. In Berlin, more than 1,000 police were deployed to demonstrations at several sites, Reuters reported.

While most protests were peaceful, some featured right-wing slogans and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories; there were some clashes between these protesters and counter-protesters. German newspaper Bild reported that the protests had attracted “a mix of right and left extremes, conspiracy theorists, anti-vaccine and corona-weary people.”

The anti-lockdown protests, which follow similar demonstrations the weekend before, come despite Germany gradually easing restrictions on public life. Shops and schools have re-opened in Germany, as well as playgrounds, churches and museums. Meanwhile, in a boost to sports fans, the country’s Bundesliga soccer league restarted at the weekend. Members of the public are required to wear masks while on public transport or shopping, however — a point of contention for anti-lockdown protesters.

More anti-lockdown protests seen in Germany as coronavirus fatigue spreads in Europe, CNBC, May 18

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