News from Berlin and Germany, 14 July 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Tenants might face up to 5,000 euros more in service charges per year

Rising energy costs, because of the war in Ukraine, will lead to additional costs in the four-digit range for households in Germany already this year. This is the result of calculations by the Federal Association of German Housing and Real Estate Companies (GdW). Should the third stage of the gas emergency plan be declared, gas price increases of up to 400 percent are even imminent, according to the same association. The German Tenants’ Association (DMB) reacted cautiously to the GdW’s calculations. In any case, tenants would be faced with considerable additional payments, which by far not everyone would be able to afford. Source: Berliner Zeitung.

Too little, too slow

Berlin still suffers from narrow cycle paths. Even when expanding them, as in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, until the Oberbaumbrücke, it is clear it is not enough. For instance, the tour further on to the Warschauer Straße S-Bahn and U-Bahn station becomes hell in view of the masses of cyclists and pedestrians. But that “Bezirk” is even the exemplary front-runner. Overall, however, there are still too few comfortably wide cycle paths. And those that do exist have often taken far too many years to plan. If Berlin really wants to make noticeable progress in the expansion of cycle paths, then the Red-Green-Red Party must finally act here. Source: nd.

Fridays for Future: racism accusations against Berlin police via video message

In a published video, a young man said that on the evening of July 2, he and his companions observed police officers racially checking black people in Kreuzberg. They wanted to report it, but police officers came straight to them. He was put on the floor. After five minutes he was handcuffed and put on the ground. According to Fridays for Future, that man belongs to the organisation. So far, the police have not received any report from the young man himself. He was also contacted by the police via social media but has not yet come forward himself. Source: tag24.


Nine-euro ticket works

The offer for this summer is being eagerly used – there is also a decline in road traffic. According to a special analysis of mobile data by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), in June 2022, nationwide rail movements were on average 42 per cent higher than in June 2019. The data includes rail journeys on routes between 30 and 300 kilometres. In road transport, there was a moderate decline in May and June 2022 – especially for journeys of more than 100 kilometres. Meanwhile, Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) does not consider a permanent introduction of the nine-euro ticket to be feasible. Source: Heise.

EU advises all over-60s to get quadruple vaccination ‘as soon as possible’

Corona incidences are on the rise. “With the renewed rise in cases and hospital admissions with the start of summer, I urge everyone to get vaccinated and boostered as soon as possible,” said EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. In Germany, the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) has so far recommended a second booster vaccination for people aged 70 and over, high-risk patients and residents of care facilities and employees in the medical sector and in care facilities. The German General Practitioners’ Association called on the Federal Government on Friday for a new vaccination campaign in the fight against the Corona pandemic. Source: rbb.

Nord Stream maintenance: will Russia soon let the Germans freeze?

The Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline was shut down on Monday morning. According to a spokeswoman for Nord Stream AG in Switzerland, mechanical parts and automatic systems are being checked. The throttling intensifies fears in Germany of an energy emergency in the autumn. Moreover, due to the dramatic expected rise in energy prices, homeowners and property management companies are increasing the monthly flat rate for heating costs among other measures. Furthermore, a question is posed to Germany: will the Russians turn the pipeline back on after the scheduled ten to 14 days? Source: DW.

IG Metall demands eight per cent wage increase

IG Metall is the trade union with the largest membership in Germany, and it is currently entering collective bargaining for the German metal and electrical industry with a demand for 8.0 per cent more money. Chairman Jörg Hofmann justified the highest demand since 2008 with the good earnings situation of the companies and the high inflation. The collective agreements of the metal and electrical industry apply to about 3.9 million workers in important core sectors of German industry such as vehicle and machine construction. The employers’ association Gesamtmetall accused the union of being blind to the reality of the industry. Source: Spiegel.


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