German government accused of 'scaremongering' after telling people to stockpile food and water

'The government could completely worry people and even lead them to panic buy' 

Alexandra Sims
Tuesday 23 August 2016 18:50 BST
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The German government has been accused of scaremongering after telling citizens to stockpile food and water in their homes in case of a national catastrophe.

The "Concept for Civil Defence", published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Sunday, advised people to store enough food for ten days and enough water for five days, as part of its civil defence strategy.

The report, which also mentions the necessity of a reliable alarm system, better structural protection of buildings and more capacity in the health system, is due to be discussed by the cabinet on Wednesday and presented by the Interior Minister that afternoon, FAZ reports.

The opposition party Die Linke (The Left Party) has lambasted the 69-page-report, saying the alert to stockpile supplies "could completely unsettle people".

Dietmar Bartsch, co-leader of Die Linke told the Rheinische Post on Monday: “By bringing out new plans all the time, the government could completely worry people and even lead them to panic buy.”

He added that the government should not be adding to the sense of fear felt on a daily basis in the country.

The Green’s deputy parliamentary leader, Konstantin von Notz, said it was sensible to update civil defence advice, but warned against confusing military or terrorist scenarios, the BBC reports.

“I can’t see any attack scenario that merits a stockpiling of supplies by the population," he said.

According to FAZ, the report was first commissioned by a parliamentary committee in 2012 and does not see an attack by conventional military forces as likely.

The government has rejected accusations the new measures amount to “scaremongering” and said they were not a reaction to the current terror threat.

Germany's Defence Minister said earlier this month the country was in the "crosshairs of terrorism" and called for the military to train more closely with police in preparation for potential large-scale militant attacks.

Measures have also been announced this month by the government to invest more on its police and security forces including creating a special unit to fight cyber crime and terrorism.

Many have taken to social media to mock the recent proposals, posting pictures of empty shelves and looted supermarkets.

The hashtag "Hamsterkaufe", or "panic buying" has also been trending on Twitter in Germany.

Germany is currently on high alert after two Islamist attacks and a shooting rampage in Munich by a mentally unstable teenager in July.

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