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Ex-minister cancels appearance after threats

Former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has pulled out of a speaking engagement in Winterthur, canton Zurich, after calls to drive him out.

The 63-year-old Green politician had been invited by Winterthur Theatre to talk about global challenges, sustainability and a better world, but he said having to do this under massive police protection was a contradiction.

A local anti-capitalism association, critical of Fischer’s current work for energy and oil companies, had called for him to be forced out of Winterthur.

The German foreign minister and vice-chancellor from 1998-2005 said he wasn’t worried about his safety. “An old war horse remains an old war horse,” he said.

Fischer entered electoral politics after participating in the anti-establishment protests of the 1960s and 1970s and played a key role in the founding of the German Green Party, which he led for nearly two decades.

Since leaving office in 2005, he has worked as a consultant and speaker on various topics in foreign affairs and international relations.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR