“We need to transmit a clear message to those who are not willing to accept the rules of our rule of law”. Angela Merkel is ready to use the iron fist after dozens of women have reported to have suffered sexual harassment by immigrants on New Year’s Eve. “What happened in Cologne – the Chancellor has said – is unbearable also for me, in a personal way. These are repugnant and criminal actions, which are unacceptable for Germany”. Merkel has said that she believes that those were not simply “sporadic cases” and has opened the hypothesis of rapid expulsions because “German people have the right to an adequate answer to serious circumstances, with legal measures and interventions on safety”. And while debate heats the heart of Europe, with a harsh position taken by Slovakia which announces the intention to close its borders to Muslim refugees, the number of complaints grows. Not only in Cologne, where the daily bulletin announces 121 – against 16 suspected that still do not know their names – but also in Hamburg, where at least 70 women suffered sexual attacks in the night-life district of St Pauli. And in Salzburg, where after a few days were reported cases as well.
Surveys in different cities – complaints pop out also in Stuttgart – proceed without clues of interconnectedness so far. But it is clear that what happened has no precedents. A “new” phenomenon, according to the police of the Hanseatic city, which said that they had never seen anything like this before. In a police report published by Bild there one can see how the situation in Cologne ended up running out of control. “Women who were in someone’s company or alone fire-walked in the middle of a mass of drunk men, in a way that cannot described”. People who put down the minutes, talk about the “frustration” of the agents who faced a mass of men and women who attacked using bottles and all sorts of incendiary means. Chaos “might have provoked deaths”. And facing dozens of complaints from women and girls in tears who reported harassment at the hands of drunk men of “North African or Arab origin”.
But at that point, we read in the report, it was no longer possible to identify those who were responsible for the attacks. The dossier mentions also the provocations some migrants launched against the agents who tried with difficulty to make way. “I am Syrian, you have to be friendly, I have been invited by Frau Merkel”, is cited as one of them. While another, “with a sarcastic smile”, has snatched a residence permit: “You cannot make me anything, tomorrow I will take another one” was his joked. Police itself was accused of having reacted too late, having received information about the attacks against women well before midnight. Besides, they seem to have denied to divulge information about the provenance of the attackers.