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Berlin's fire service says a protest delayed a rescue vehicle sent to treat a 44-year-old woman. 1010

Climate protests condemned after cyclist's death

The death of a cyclist in Berlin has prompted leaders of Germany's Green party to accuse climate change protesters of endangering the lives of others.

The woman was run over and trapped under a concrete mixer lorry on Monday.

The fire service says a specialist rescue vehicle was delayed by traffic because of a climate protest held by a group called "Last Generation".

News of the 44-year-old woman's death emerged on Friday.

There was a robust response from Robert Habeck, vice-chancellor and a senior figure in the Greens, who are part of the governing coalition government.

"Anyone who risks the health and life of others loses all legitimacy and also harms the climate movement itself," he said. "Some protests by some groups are now doing just that."

Deputy government spokesman Wolfgang Büchner did not blame the protesters for the woman's death, but stressed their actions should not break the law.

Last Generation confirmed that some of its members had staged a protest several kilometres from the site of the accident. They'd positioned themselves on a gantry over the A100 - a major route into the west of the capital - which led to police officers reducing what is usually a busy motorway to a single lane of traffic.

In a statement the group said that the "entire media system" had turned against them, adding their members were distraught by the death.

"We know that our protest is uncomfortable in many ways. Every day we confront people with what we would all like to ignore," they said.

The woman's death has intensified a growing national debate about the tactics employed by Germany's climate change protesters. In recent weeks they've frequently blocked city roads.

And last month, at a gallery in Potsdam, activists threw mashed potato at a painting by Monet valued at more than €1m. The painting itself, which was covered in glass, was undamaged.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has publicly questioned the efficacy of such tactics: "I'm afraid that it will call into question the broad public support for more and more decisive climate protection or rob us of the opportunity to further increase this support."

Shortly after police confirmed the death of the cyclist on Friday, the German government's new expert council for climate change published its first report. Based on its current efforts, it says, Germany will clearly miss its own climate targets for 2030.

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