News from Berlin and Germany: 11th September, 2021

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany


compiled by Ana Ferreira


Berlin buys thousands of apartments

In the next few days, supervisory board meetings have been scheduled for the private sellers Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen as well as for the state-owned buyers Howoge, Degewo and Berlinovo. Here, the responsible bodies must approve the takeover negotiated by the Senate Department of Finance with Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen. In the course of their merger, the two housing groups had announced that they wanted to hand over 20,000 flats to the state, trying to influence the opinion of the expropriation-friendly electorate in their favour. Among the properties to be bought, there are the Falkenhagener Feld in Spandau, the Thermometersiedlung in Lichterfelde and the Neukölln Highdeck-Siedlung. Source: morgenpost

CDU fears the fair housing referendum

Just a few days before the election and the referendum on the socialisation of large housing stocks, the CDU wants to know what knowledge the Office for the Protection of the Constitution had about the support for the initiative Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen from “left-wing extremists” – namely the post-autonomous alliance Interventionist Left (IL). When asked by CDU MP Stephan Lenz how “we” protect ourselves from that “infiltration”, Berlin’s head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Michael Fischer, replied that it was not the task of the agency to “take care of how they defend themselves against it”. Source: nd

Health workers fighting together

Starting this Thursday, the trade union ver.di is calling for an indefinite strike at the Berlin clinics of Charité and Vivantes (including its subsidiaries). In May, the workers gave the public hospital operators and the Berlin Senate a 100-day ultimatum, about better payment. This was followed by several further warning strikes. In the Vivantes subsidiaries, ver.di demands the full adoption of the collective agreement for the public service (TVöD) for all employees. So far, a considerable number of them are not protected by collective agreements and thus earn significantly less. For the hospital workers themselves, ver.di wants to push through a collective agreement on relief. Source: jW


Headscarf wearers face systematic discrimination

A study finds clear evidence of everyday discrimination against women wearing headscarves in Germany. Using actresses in train stations, who presented themselves with or without headscarves, the researchers noted that some seemed to be migrants, and others not, this was not an issue “per se.” The women wearing a headscarf, though, were treated with prejudice. The actresses dropped some fruits from their shopping bags. Those with headscarves got significantly less help – about eight percentage points lower. The researchers see this, among other results of the study, as scientific confirmation of everyday discrimination for women wearing headscarves. Source; süddeutsche

SPD demand commitment to Nato from coalition partners

Mathematically, a Red-Green-Red coalition is likely to happen after the Bundestag elections. However, SPD leader Saskia Esken is demanding a clear commitment about NATO from any possible coalition partner, which increases the pressure on the Left Party (Die Linke). And Armin Laschet (CDU), the candidate for chancellor of the CDU/CSU, has also renewed his claim that a Red-Green-Red coalition is not a realistic option. Laschet even claimed that if the Left wants to dissolve Nato this could be among the reasons “why these people should not be allowed to sit in a German government”.Source: spiegel

Expert calls on Tesla to finance the Fangschleuse station expansion

Can the taxpayer in Brandenburg “donate” a railway station to a profit-oriented corporation like Tesla if this corporation or its employees are the almost exclusive users of this new station? “Die Linke” presented an expert opinion about this last Tuesday. According to the expert, Tesla must at least contribute towards financing the extension of the Fangschleuse railway station, which is being built for 50 million euros and exclusively in the interest of the Tesla car factory in Grünheide. The expert also notes that the construction of such a station exclusively at the taxpayers’ expense would be a violation of European competition law. Source: nd

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