Germany calls for greater pressure against Maduro

LONDON – Germany is calling for greater pressure against the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro to bring about fresh elections.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr said Monday that Germany believes "the pressure on Maduro needs to be increased so as to move in the direction of free, fair and democratic presidential elections."

Adebahr said Germany is consulting with fellow European countries, but would seek to have additional EU sanctions target those close to Maduro "and of course not worsen the dramatic hardship experienced by the citizens of Venezuela."

Government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer condemned violence at points on the Venezuelan border where opposition figures have been trying to bring in aid shipments.

Demmer said Germany was particularly concerned by "the apparent deployment of militias and groups of thugs to intimidate the population.