German leader clarifies stance on student climate protests

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is making clear she supports students protesting around the world against global warming, following widespread criticism of comments seeming to suggest the demonstrations may have been fomented by Russian online agitation.

Merkel last month was talking about Russian cyberwarfare at the Munich Security Conference when she brought up the student protests, saying “that suddenly after years all German children suddenly come up with the idea you have to protest, without any external influence, is hard to imagine.”

Her office says the comment was misunderstood, and Merkel was talking about how easy it was to mobilize a campaign on the internet.

Merkel clarified her stance in her weekly podcast Saturday, saying she “really welcomed” the student protests and that “I think it is a very good initiative.”

By Associated Press