UNTERFÖHRING (dpa-AFX) - Allianz sees growing risks of political polarization and violence in the international election year 2024 - including in Germany. The experts at industrial insurer Allianz Commercial not only see the possible rise of far-right and populist groups and parties as a risk, but also the radicalization of environmental activists and opponents of climate protection. In the analysis published on Wednesday, the company estimates the economic costs of political unrest in seven countries since 2018 at over 13 billion dollars.

Almost half of the world's population has been called to the polls this year, according to the paper. These include the US presidential election as well as the European elections and state elections in Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg. In the USA, a close result could further increase political tensions there. Allianz also believes that the European Parliament elections in June could increase polarization in the EU if radical right-wing parties gain influence. Allianz Commercial sells insurance policies against unrest, among other things, and the risk and cost estimates are related to this.

The company's claims experts see danger not only from the right. "We expect that there will be more unrest in the future, especially on environmental issues, not only from activists, but also from opponents of the government's climate protection policy," said Srdjan Todorovic, the expert for political violence at Allianz Commercial. As far as environmental protests are concerned, Todorovic also believes that a trend towards larger-scale crimes is possible.

According to the analysis, Germany cannot be ruled out: This year's elections would take place in an irritable social climate, characterized by stagnating economic growth, farmers' protests, strikes and the climate crisis. The European Football Championship will bring crowds of people together in stadiums or at open-air events. "This could give potential perpetrators a platform."

One European country plays a prominent role in the cost estimate of political unrest for seven countries: France. According to Allianz, the yellow vest protests in 2018 cost 1.1 billion dollars, while the riots following the death of teenager Nahel Merzouk, who was shot dead by a police officer in the summer of 2023, cost a further billion euros. According to Allianz, violent protests in the USA against the death of George Floyd, who was also killed in a police operation, also caused losses of two billion dollars./cho/DP/stk