News from Berlin and Germany, 12th January 2023

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



New numbers for arrests for firework attacks in Berlin – majority Germans

According to new riot statistics from the Berlin police on New Year’s Eve, most of the 38 perpetrators, arrested for attacks on police officers and firefighters with fireworks, were German citizens – approximately two thirds. The previously announced figures of 145 arrested of 18 different nationalities triggered a debate after New Year’s Eve about a lack of integration in hotspots like Neukölln. But this initial figure is of limited relevance since it refers to all the people arrested by all units deployed for various offences on New Year’s Eve. Source: tagesspiegel

One third of teachers to leave Berlin schools by 2027

In the next four years, about 10,000 teachers will leave the teaching profession for reasons of age. That is roughly one in three teachers. The Senate therefore wants the universities to deliver more teaching graduates – around 2,300 annually, said State Secretary for Science Armaghan Naghipour. According to the current university contracts with the state, 2,000 student teachers are supposed to graduate each year. However, only about 900 finished last year. As new contracts with the universities are currently being negotiated, there remain almost a thousand teaching positions vacant as of 1 November 2022, the deadline of the previous contract. Source: rbb

The trial against Sara Mardini begins

In 2015, Yusra and Sara Mardini fled to Berlin. While the first ended up swimming for Germany in the Olympics, the latter decided to help refugees. The pair are the subject of a recent movie on “Netflix” telling their story. Sara Mardini, 27 years old, faces up to 25 years in prison. The charges against her, the German lifeguard Seán Binder (28) and the Greek NGO worker Nassos Karakitsos (42) are: forgery, illegal use of radio frequencies, espionage.  Crimes they are said to have committed while supposedly founding a criminal gang involved with human trafficking. Sara has been waiting for a fair trial for more than four years. An investigation by the European Parliament found the charges “criminalise solidarity”. Source: berliner-zeitung

Berlin and Brandenburg lift mask requirement on public transport as of 2 February

Berlin and Brandenburg have decided to end the obligation to wear masks on public transport. According to the Federal Law on the Protection against Infectious Diseases, masks will remain compulsory for long-distance public transport and for visitors to hospitals, nursing homes and doctors’ surgeries. Brandenburg’s Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) said it was particularly important for him to agree with Berlin on a common date lift of the requirement given their closely networked region. In Brandenburg, however, some provisions of the Corona Ordinance were extended such as wearing masks in communal accommodation for homeless people and refugees. Source: rbb

Nine homeless people killed on Berlin’s streets since 2018

In response to questions from MP Taylan Kurt (Greens) concerning the figures of homeless people who were killed on the Berlin’s streets, the Senate Social Administration have said two cases were murder and one case of robbery and murder.

Other cases were classified as manslaughter and bodily injury. The worst year was 2018 in which 3 cases occurred, followed by 2019 and 2021 with two each. In 2020 and 2022, one case each was registered. The total number of homeless people who died on the street is “incalculable” according to the Senate. Source: bz-berlin



Hamburg police blocks climate activists

The Hamburg State Police stopped a bus with 50 climate activists for about three hours. The group, including members of “Fridays for Future”, was on its way to the village Lützerath which is sat on top of a huge coal reserve. The bus was stopped in accordance with the “law on the prevention of danger” which comes into effect if the police suspect you of wanting to disrupt “public safety”. Passengers were then required to identify themselves, with the police taking photographs of those without identification, according to a police spokesperson. Their luggage was also searched with superglue and climbing gear seized. Source: spiegel

Lützerath and the miscalculation of the Greens

Back in April 2021, while activists were protesting outside the Constitutional Court, Germany’s highest legal authority made the historic declaration that the country has a constitutional right to climate protection à la the Paris Agreement. However, according to studies produced by the German Institute for Economic Research, once the coal under the village Lützerath reaches the power plant, it will be practically impossible to still meet those Paris climate targets. And, instead of using the crisis as an argument to herald the end of coal, oil and gas, the Greens are clearing the way for further energy waste: Robert Habeck has claimed that due to the war in Ukraine, Coal is acutely needed at the moment and with this, Germany will be Coal free by 2030. The Green Party leaders have miscalculated. But it is not too late, yet. Source: taz

Response to Reichsbürger group: Faeser plans to ban guns

After the New Year’s Eve riots and the uncovered coup plans of the ‘Reichsbürger group’, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) wants to tighten the weapons law in Germany. According to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, the draft law from the Ministry of the Interior provides for a ban on particularly dangerous semi-automatic weapons for private individuals. Going forward, weapons popular among the Reichsbürger group, such as blank guns and crossbows are only to be available with a firearms licence. Faeser had already spoken out in favour of tightening gun laws even before the riots on New Year’s Eve. Source: islamiq

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