At least 29 vehicles were destroyed in arson attacks this year, most of them luxury cars.. The number is already about 30 percent of the total for 2008...The cynic inside us also wonders whether some car owners are taking advantage of the situation and torching their own cars to recover insurance money for vehicles they can no longer afford and are unable to sell.
While youths in Athens protest by throwing Molotov cocktails, in Paris by toppling barricades, and in Budapest by hurling eggs at politicians, protesters in Berlin rage at their economic plight by targeting the most expensive cars -- symbols of German wealth and power.
A group calling itself BMW -- the initials stand for Movement for Militant Resistance in German -- has claimed responsibility for several attacks in left-wing magazines and Web sites... One-third of the incidents are classed as “political,” prompting officers to assign a special unit to investigate... Schodrowski attributed the arson to “a protest against the world economy and rising rents.”
The worst recession since World War II is fueling anger among youths across Europe who “perceive their future as rather precarious..." Some groups are “very quick to attack whoever they can make out as responsible for having robbed them of decent life prospects...”
...new housing and building redevelopments are pushing out the squatter scene that flourished after East and West Berlin were reunited in 1990... Rents that were about half the city average 10 years ago are now about 40 percent above the average, and the car attacks are an attempt to drive wealthy newcomers away... “It means: ‘rich people, don’t move in here -- your cars will be trashed, we don’t want you here’...”
(Photo credit here)