News from Berlin and Germany, 10th April 2024

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Anmeldung available to all: meet the Berlin activists

Anmeldung für Alle is a new campaign, aiming to make registration easier for everyone. The Berliner interviewed two of its organisers, Marcela Camps and Jason Bustos, from Ciudad Migrante. The group’s website observes that “the vicious circle of registration means exclusion from basic rights and services essential for a decent life.” The campaign has three major demands: a solution for people who cannot find an apartment with Anmeldung, but who are still living and working in the city, the decriminalisation of solidarity Anmeldung, and a solution to the housing crisis. Source: the berliner

Activists at the Amazon Tower

Accused of poor working conditions, tax evasion, and gentrification, Amazon’s occupation as the main tenant of the EDGE East Tower has been controversial from the beginning, with many acts of protest happening at the spot. When asked about their negative public perception, the company spoke about their plans to make a floor in the building available free of charge to non-profit organisations and neighbourhood initiatives. For many activists, these plans are just “social washing.” The group Amazon ist kein guter Nachbar organised a protest against Amazon’s gentrification of Friedrichshain last Saturday. Source: the berliner


The tip of the iceberg

There are around 1,500 fascists and “Reich citizens” with gun licences in Germany. This is shown by the Federal Government’s response to a parliamentary enquiry by the Die Linke group. According to the answer published on the Bundestag website at the end of this week, 1,051 “right-wing extremists” and around 400 “Reich citizens” who deny the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany hold at least one firearms licence. The statistics do not include armed AfD members unless they belong to the far-right party’s structures categorised by the domestic intelligence service as “confirmed right-wing extremist.” Source: jW

Traffic-light coalition agrees on payment card

The traffic-light coalition has settled its dispute over payment cards for refugees: the cards are now explicitly mentioned in the law as a form of receiving social benefits in future. “Payment cards were already possible before, but we have now created a common, legally secure framework,” explained Dagmar Schmidt (SPD). The card system will also be extended to asylum seekers who do not live in shared accommodation, who will be able to receive the card instead of cash benefits. However, many NGOs criticized the new law because, among other issues, there are still many places in Germany where card payments are not accepted. Source: taz

Meat consumption in the country fell to record low in 2023

It is a trend: in 2023, people in Germany ate 0.8 percent less meat than they did in 2022. The annual figures published by the Bundesinformationszentrum Landwirtschaft (BZL) reveal that meat consumption continues to decline in Germany, despite animal products still being a significant part of German cuisine. According to the German government, “Farming generates around 8% of Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through animal husbandry and the use of fertilisers.” Last year, it was first and foremost cows that disappeared from dinner plates across Germany, with beef and veal consumption dropping by more than 5% to 8.9 kilograms per person. Source: iamexpat

University of Cologne disinvites Nancy Fraser

The University of Cologne has disinvited the US philosopher Nancy Fraser from the “Albertus Magnus” guest professorship.  Fraser, who works at the New School for Social Research in New York, was due to hold two public lectures and a seminar in Cologne from 15 to 17 May. The events have now been cancelled. The university justifies its decision by stating that the academic signed the open letter “Philosophy for Palestine” in November. In a statement on the website of the Critical Theory in Berlin association, the move by the University of Cologne is criticised by a number of philosophers and intellectuals. Source: faz

Germany’s Döner and Asia-Imbisse experience a boom while restaurants suffer

According to a study by Hase & Igel, an AI-supported data analysis company, more people in Germany are choosing to eat out at fast-food eateries rather than restaurants. This means that not only well-established international companies such as McDonald’s or Burger King have more customers, but also places where Döner and Asian food are served. On the other hand, “Italian, Spanish and Indian restaurants perceive more losses in the mid-double digit percentage range,” said Hase & Igel Managing Director Jan Schoenmakers. According to the study, food delivery apps are also seeing a decline in customers, after their rise during the pandemic. Source: iamexpat

Germany and Nicaragua at the International Court of Justice

Nicaragua is taking Germany to the International Court of Justice on suspicion of aiding and abetting genocide in Gaza. Pending a final decision by the court in the main proceedings, Nicaragua demands the imposition of immediate measures, including an immediate stop to arms deliveries. A judgement in this regard, which is binding under international law, is expected in around two weeks. After the Central American country’s lawyers presented their arguments in detail on Monday, Germany’s representatives intended to refute the charges “accusation by accusation in detail” on Tuesday morning, as the Federal Foreign Office claimed on X on Monday. Source: jW

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