News from Berlin and Germany, 12th April 2023

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



Delays for the “social ticket”

The “social ticket” (Sozialticket) will allow Berliners to use buses and trains in tariff zones A and B for nine euros. But there are issues with the application for the ticket. As announced last Thursday, overloads in the offices and a technical defect make the ticket difficult to apply for. It is not known when the problems might be solved.  Social Senator Katja Kipping (The Left) criticised problems with the social ticket, which affect people who were already living on the edge or below the subsistence level. A possible penalty of 60 euros for missing proof during a check might quickly lead to a debt trap. Source: rbb24

Last Generation and Extinction Rebellion announce actions in Berlin

Climate activists from Extinction Rebellion and Last Generation are calling for protests in Berlin’s government district in the coming days. A protest camp is to be set up in the Invalidenpark from Wednesday until April 17, Extinction Rebellion announced. The park is located between the ministries of transport and economy and climate protection. In addition, Last Generation is calling for “peaceful civil resistance” in Berlin’s government quarter from April 19. There will also be national mobilisation.  Demonstrations and “actions of civil disobedience” are planned for a so-called “spring rebellion.” Source: BZ

Anti-Semitism at demonstration in Berlin

At a Palestinian demonstration in Kreuzberg and Neukölln, hundreds chanted “Death to Israel!” Many apparently made no secret of their hatred against Israel. Police are now investigating several cases of suspected incitement to hatred. Video footage is being analysed as well. Politicians from various parties also expressed their horror at the events. “The right to demonstrate and to defend one’s positions also has limits,” wrote for instance Dennis Radtke (CDU) on Twitter. “Why their transgression was tolerated must be clarified. In the ‘never again’ country, one can only be ashamed of this.” Source: BZ

Hospital reform

“It is the third step before the first,” says Anja Voigt of the Berlin alliance “Health not Profits,” criticising the federal government’s hospital reform proposals. Voigt does not think a shift to outpatient treatment would be wrong if it means patients who did not need inpatient care would not end up in hospitals. “But for that to happen, outpatient care would first have to be expanded before hospitals close down. The patients must go somewhere,” says the nurse. The new CDU-SPD coalition seems to see things similarly: in their coalition agreement, it is written: “We want to ensure health and emergency care close to home even after the reform.” Source: nd-aktuell


Bicycle parking spaces with light

Bad figures have rarely been presented with such glee: according to a study by the Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrradclub (ADFC), not even half of the 179 train or S-Bahn stations in Schleswig-Holstein offer bicycle parking considered satisfactory by their users. “But for us, the glass is half full, not half empty,” says ADCF director Jan Voß about the many positive examples, such as parking spaces that have walls made of perforated sheeting, to ensure that it is bright inside, and locks that can be opened by code. Big cities fared poorly in comparison with small towns: they offer such spaces, but clearly too few in view of the large numbers of commuters. Source: taz

Jet thunder over Germany

It’s getting loud over Germany: from June 12 to 23, up to 10,000 soldiers from 24 countries are to take part in NATO’s air war exercise “Air Defender 23.” It is the largest exercise of its kind to date. The bases at Jagel/Hohn (Schleswig-Holstein), Laage (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), Wunstorf (Lower Saxony), Lechfeld (Bavaria), Spangdahlem (Rhineland-Palatinate), as well as Volkel in the Netherlands and Čáslav in the Czech Republic, will be particularly utilized for this purpose. A total of around 200 aircraft are to be transferred to Europe from May onwards, half of them from the USA. Source: nd-aktuell

Strike instead of wage sacrifice

The workers of the insolvent department store chain Galeria Karstadt-Kaufhof (GKK) continue to fight for their rights. On Holy Saturday, they followed a call by the trade union ver.di for an all-day warning strike in three federal states: Baden-Württemberg, the city of Hamburg, and Hesse. The union wants to fight for the recognition of the retail sector regional collective agreements for the approximately 17,000 employees nationwide. So far, the management has refused to return to the national collective agreement, proposing instead a “flexibilisation of working time,” ver.di complained in a press release. Source: jW

Tags: ,