News from Berlin and Germany, 10th November 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Sensors in the underground tunnel

Once a neighboring high-rise construction project had a negative impact on the tunnel, one track had to be closed at the Alexanderplatz underground station. Now it has become known that not only the U2 is under observation, but also the two other underground lines in this part of Mitte are being monitored. Sensors in the area reported the structure with the U2 station was moving. Such movement can lead to cracks in the structure. What about the U5 and U8? So far, no critical settlements or heave have been detected on the U5. This also applies to the measuring system at the U8 station Jannowitzbrücke. Source: Berliner Zeitung

Bundestag election to be repeated in 431 constituencies in Berlin

Due to numerous glitches in the elections in Berlin in September 2021, the Bundestag election is to be repeated in 431 of around 2,300 voting districts. This has been proposed by the parliament’s electoral review committee. The parliament’s approval is considered certain. Berlin has already set a date for the repeat election in February 2023. Recently, however, an expert report by the Senate’s internal administration revealed reservations – according to this report, the authority is convinced that the decision on the repeat election would first have to be confirmed by the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe. Source: rbb

9-Euro Social Ticket until the end of 2023

The Senate decided to reduce the sales price for the Berlin social ticket from 27.50 euros per month to 9 euros from 1 January 2023 to 31 March 2023, following a proposal by Social Affairs Senator Katja Kipping. “All Berliners with a Berlin pass will benefit from the 9-euro social ticket. This is a concrete and noticeable relief for people with little money who are particularly affected by the crisis. We, the Left Party, have been campaigning for this for a long time.°, explained the chairpersons of the Left Party in Berlin, Anne Helm and Carsten Schatz, as well as the spokesperson for mobility policy, Kristian Ronneburg. Source: Linksfraktion Berlin

Flat evictions in Berlin have not decreased

In Berlin, the number of flat evictions has remained almost stable despite calls for judicial leniency – for the current year there are even indications that it could be higher. Actual evictions have only been fully recorded statistically since the fourth quarter of 2019. At that time, 594 Berlin flats were evicted following a judgement. In the first half of 2022, 914 flats are now already affected. Last month, Senator Lena Kreck and Social Affairs Senator Katja Kipping (both Left Party) publicly called for a moratorium on evictions in October. The German Judges’ Association rejected the appeal as inadmissible political influence. Source: tagesspiegel




Gas price brake may come sooner

The federal and state governments have reached an agreement on the gas and electricity price brake. Gas prices are to be at twelve cents per kilowatt hour, electricity prices at 40 cents, said Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). This will now be implemented together with other regulations. The resolution paper of the federal-state summit states the gas price brake will be “introduced on 1 March 2023” as proposed by the Gas Price Commission. However, “a retroactive effect to 1 February 2023 is being sought”. Agreements were also reached on the financing of the 49-Euro-Ticket and the support of the States and Municipalities in providing for refugees. Source: dw

Online retailer wants to take over 47 Galeria locations – Cottbus shop on list

The online retailer wants to take over 47 branches of the department stores’ chain Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof in Germany, says its managing director, Markus Schön. The prospective buyer has made a corresponding offer to the insolvency administrator. The Cottbus branch is the only one from Brandenburg on the list of 47 locations. Currently it is not foreseeable when a transaction might take place. In any case, is quickly ready to act. Should win the bid to buy 47 Galeria shops, they would no longer be run under that name. Source: rbb

Lindner wants fracking in Germany, and geologists are for it

Finance Minister Christian Lindner is tired with the talking about extending the lifespan of nuclear power plants. What the FDP leader is suddenly keen on, however: fracking gas “made in Germany”. According to the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Resources, Germany has 2.3 trillion cubic metres of shale gas, the fourth largest resource within the EU after France, Spain and Romania. And Lindner´s party is not alone in its initiative: the Professional Association of German Geoscientists also advocates German fracked gas. On the other side, parties such as SPD and environmentalists criticize the alternative. Source: Berliner Zeitung

Mehr Demokratie” welcomes lowering of voting age at state level

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is the sixth federal state in which 16- and 17-year-olds are now allowed to vote for the state parliament. In April, the Green-Black-governed state of Baden-Württemberg passed a corresponding constitutional amendment. “In NRW, the CDU and the Greens have written the voting age of 16 into the coalition agreement.” In Berlin, too, a constitutional amendment is pending, but it is now delayed by the rerun of the elections. The association “Mehr Demokratie” in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, welcomes this measure as a correct and necessary step and calls for a reform also on the federal level. Source: mehr demokatie

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