Protests for more tax justice: thousands want to “umfairteilen”.

With a star march in Bochum, as well as human chains and rallies in various cities, a broad alliance is demonstrating for a fairer fiscal policy.

There is probably nothing to add to this. Picture: dpa

Thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday with rallies in several German cities for a fairer tax policy. The nationwide alliance "Umfairteilen" had called for the protests.

Organizers estimated the total number of participants at more than 15,000, including about 12,000 at a central rally in Bochum. The police did not provide any details. At the same time, demonstrators in Berlin formed a "Umfairteilenkette" in the government district. There were also events in other cities – including Saarbrucken and Regensburg.

The initiative’s central demands are a higher wealth tax to finance the community and necessary reforms, and a one-time wealth tax for "the rich and super-rich," as Verdi head Frank Bsirske said in his speech in Bochum. Important areas such as education and care are permanently underfunded, he said. "We therefore urgently need additional investment in Germany’s social and societal future," the union leader said. "That’s what it is an act of balancing justice."

Ulrich Schneider, chief executive of the Paritatischer Wohlfahrtsverband, said, "The distribution of wealth in Germany is obscene." About one-third of all income in Germany goes to the richest 10 percent of the population, he said, while poverty in Germany is higher than at any time since reunification and public infrastructure is rotting. "We need a greater contribution from the super-rich who have benefited from the crisis."

The "Umfairteilen – Reichtum besteuern!" alliance includes 24 organizations at the federal level, including Attac, trade unions such as Verdi and the Paritatische Wohlfahrtsverband.

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