The investigation into the 2016 terror attack at the Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz has resulted in bitter fighting between Berlin’s Parliament and Justice Department. We speak with Berlin Policy Journal’s Executive Editor Henning Hoff about this week’s cry for Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician Burkard Dregger’s resignation as Chairman of the Investigation Committee, and why crisis management is a frequent problem in Berlin.
The infighting between Berlin’s Justice Department and Senate Committee stems from accusations of mishandling of evidence and a lack of coordination to prevent the terror incident, says Hoff, who notes that the investigation is “throwing a not-too-flattering light” on Berlin’s security force. Concerning their handling of the post-attack investigation, Hoff says that the Berlin offices “look a bit ridiculous,” and further advises that everyone “should get their act together and really get some work done.”
Lack of coordination in the face of crisis is a systemic problem in Berlin, Hoff says, which he attributes in part to the lack of funding for local services. He makes clear, though, that this problem is much larger than Berlin’s police force. “The Berlin police is actually quite good,” Hoff says: “It’s a shame that their good work is sort of let down…by the way that their superiors and our parliamentarians deal with this matter.”