car on fireEnlarge Photo
Tempers aren't the only things flaring in Berlin these days: luxury vehicles are also going up in smoke by the dozens. The cause? Arson, presumably instigated by the disenfranchised and the young, who aren't faring so well in today's economic climate.
Although things are pretty rough here in the U.S., the situation is even more dire in Deutchland, which is facing its worst recession since World War II (and we all know how that turned out). As a result, many there are nervous about the future, and some are lashing out in very unpleasant ways.
So far this year, Berlin has seen almost 30 instances of car arson, and almost all have been directed at higher-end vehicles. A group calling itself "Bewegung für militanten Widerstand", or BMW (translation: "Movement for Militant Resistance"), has taken responsibility for many of the attacks. Police spokesperson Bernhard Schodrowski interprets the incidents as "a protest against the world economy and rising rents". Maybe that form of "protest" flies in the land of Marx, but most of us would call it straight-up domestic terrorism.
Of course, these aren't the first instances of car-torchings we've seen in Europe. (Remember that poor Belgian Lambo that met its fiery end earlier this month?) Professor Margit Mayer has this to say about the phenomenon: "Whether you look at the Berlin events or these anarchist groups in other European cities and countries, they are all making reference to the deepening economic crisis and how the various governments are dealing with them."
Or, apparently, not dealing with them.