A car crashed into the front gate of the building housing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s offices on Wednesday morning, but did not cause major damage according to police.
The car, a Volkswagen station wagon, had the words “Stop Globalization Policies” written in white on its right side and “You damn killers of children and old people” on the other.
The collision caused only minor damage to the metal gate to the chancellery. Police said on Twitter that the 54-year-old driver was taken into custody. They said they were questioning him over the incident and that he was not hurt.
Merkel was scheduled to be hosting a video conference of German state premiers later in the day to discuss an extension to the lockdown measures to stem the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which caused the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal states are expected to decide on Wednesday to extend the so-called “lockdown light” until Dec. 20.
Under the measures, bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues will remain shut, though schools and shops can stay open.
According to a draft proposal issued on Tuesday, from Dec. 1, only five people will be allowed to meet, though the number will be increased to 10 over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The government’s approach on the pandemic has prompted protests in some major cities.
Last Wednesday, thousands of people protested in Berlin as the German parliament passed a new legal framework for enforcing COVID-19 restrictions.
Police unleashed water cannon to scatter the protesters, some of whom held banners with slogans such as “Stop the corona pandemic lie” and “No to forced vaccinations”.
Critics said the amendment endangers citizens’ civil rights. The conservative Alternative for Germany (AfD) party even compared it with the 1933 Enabling Act that paved the way to Hitler’s Nazi dictatorship.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.