News from Berlin and Germany, 16th March 2023

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



Referendum on 26 March: a clear figure

The initiators of the Berlin 2030 climate-neutral referendum believe a survey commissioned by them confirms their assumption that they have a chance of winning the vote on 26 March. At the start of the coalition negotiations between the CDU and the SPD, the initiative Klimaneustart Berlin published the results of a survey of 3,002 Berliners conducted by the opinion research institute Civey between 20 January and 17 February. According to it, 46.3% were in favor of a climate-neutral Berlin in 2030, which would be 15 years earlier than the Senate has planned so far. Source: morgenpost

Coffee, cake, referendum”: “Berlin 2030 climate neutral”

Two weeks before the referendum for more ambitious climate targets in Berlin, the initiators have started the final spurt. Around 300 people gathered on Nollendorfplatz in Berlin-Schöneberg on Saturday under the title “Coffee, Cake, Referendum”. “It is important to us to create broad acceptance among the Berlin population and to go into a conversation with people about how their own neighbourhood can become climate neutral,” said Jessamine Davis from the Klimaneustart Berlin alliance. The demand of the referendum on 26 March is that Berlin becomes climate neutral by 2030 and not by 2045 as previously planned. Source: tagesspiegel

“Die Post” and the strike in Berlin

Empty letterboxes and delayed parcels – this scenario was to be feared for the coming days and for the next weeks. After the collective bargaining between the Deutsche Post and ver.di has failed, the trade union called for unlimited strikes. In order for these to take place, they had to ask for a ballot. The result was announced last Thursday, where almost 86 percent voted for indefinite strikes. But these have been averted for the time being. Deutsche Post asked ver.di to continue negotiations at short notice in order to “reach an agreement”. Source: morgenpost

All-day warning strike at BER Airport

With the start of the early shift at 3.30 a.m., an all-day warning strike by security staff happened last Monday. “As announced, there will be no departures,” said the airport spokesman. Around 200 take-offs and about 27,000 passengers were affected. The trade union, ver.di, cited as background for this strike the so far unsuccessful collective negotiations for adequate pay for aviation security staff who work at inconvenient hours. Security workers at the airports in Hamburg, Hanover and Bremen airports also take part in the industrial action. The next round of negotiations for BER is scheduled for 27-29 March in Potsdam. Source: rbb24

Kreuzberg with no car parking spaces

Around 400 car parking spaces are to be eliminated in Kreuzberg’s Graefekiez. Instead, space is to be created for sharing vehicles such as electric scooters or cars. Residents will be able to redesign the vacant spaces, too. Among those parking areas, 80 are in a central area with several school locations. Residents affected can park their cars in a garage for 50 euros per month. This project will be reviewed in 2024. The project, which also includes closing a street to through traffic and setting speed limits, is being supported by the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB). Source: rbb24


“Hospital reform” in Germany

German hospitals are on the brink of collapse. The Federal Health Minister’s answer to this is a heavily criticized “hospital reform”. Karl Lauterbach (SPD) has repeatedly tried to defend his plans for an alleged de-economization of this sector. Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein have recently voiced criticism of the plans. Lauterbach warned that if the states planned to go it alone on the “hospital reform”, there would be no money from the federal government. Among other issues, he plans to partially abolish the current flat rates per case and introduce a reserve payment for beds and staff. Source: jW

Germany’s €49 ticket

Since Monday 20th February, the BVG has made their new €49 monthly ticket, also known as the “Deutschlandticket” available for pre-oder. With it, you get access to (almost) all public transport throughout Germany. However, if you don’t manage to pre-order it before May 1st, here’s some important info to remember: you will need to have bought your subscription before the 20th of the month in order for it to be valid for the next month. That means that if you want to use your €49 ticket from the start of May, you need to purchase it before the 20th of April. Source: exberliner

Roger Waters takes legal action against cancellation of performances in Germany

The city of Frankfurt wants to ban a concert by ex-Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters – citing his “anti-Israel appearance”. Munich is planning something similar. Now the dispute over Roger Waters’ concert series in Germany is getting a judicial aftermath. The musician and Pink Floyd co-founder wants to take legal action against the planned cancellation of his concerts in Frankfurt am Main and Munich. Such cancellation of his concerts is “unconstitutional” and “unjustified”, as someone from his staff explained. They were based “on the false accusation that Roger Waters is anti-Semitic, which he is not”. Source: spiegel

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