News from Berlin and Germany: 17th July 2021

News from Berlin compiled by Ana Ferreira


Every third Berliner has no right to vote at all

1.3 million Berliners, more than a third of the city´s population, are not allowed to vote in elections to the House of Representatives and the Bundestag, or in referendums. For years, the number of city residents without political representation has been rising. Those without political representation are not evenly distributed across the city: the largest proportion of non-voters, over 70 per cent, is in constituency 415, in Lichtenberg. At the other extreme is constituency 923, in Weissensee, where only 1.4 per cent of residents do not have the right to vote. Source: rbb


Attac launches campaign for wealth tax

An Attac campaign for the appropriate taxation of wealth started with an action in front of the Frankfurt stock exchange. Under the slogan “Who pays? With wealth tax out of the crisis!”, Attac demands the reintroduction of wealth tax, the reform of inheritance tax as well as a one-off wealth levy to compensate for the burdens of the pandemic. In detail, Attac demands a taxation which prevents a further concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands, as well as an inheritance and gift tax, also applied to heirs of large estates, including business assets. Source: attac

Former police chief accused of sexual assault

The ex-head of the Thuringian police union is alleged to have sexually assaulted his former female employee, but it was only after the allegations became known in April, more than a year after the investigations began, that Kai Christ resigned from his post as regional head of the GdP. In June 2021, the public prosecutor’s office in Erfurt closed the investigation against him. Sufficient suspicion could not be established, according to this. However, some questions remain: if Christ is innocent, what is the deal with masturbation videos he sent to the employee? And why did Christ resign only a year after the investigation began? Source: taz

Call for Mini jobs to be scrapped

A new study from the Bertelsmann Foundation, “Get out of the mini-job trap,” is calling for mini-jobs to be abolished. Usually, the system works well for individuals who want a small side income, but increasingly this possibility has also been taken on by individuals with low qualifications and women who want to combine work with family. Among issues pointed outar that this group is not entitled to unemployment benefits. And its workers might not build up an adequate pension, and are at a higher risk of old-age poverty. The economists are therefore calling for low-income workers to be better cushioned, by making social security contributions due. Source: iamexpat

More and more children live in poverty

Child poverty in Germany is growing. This is the central finding of a study from the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband. While the poverty rate of under-18s was still 18.2 per cent in 2010, it has risen to 20.5 per cent by 2019. The study also examined differences in child poverty between the federal states. For instance, in various western states the issue seems to be bigger in the so-called “new federal states”. The study also warns of a further worsening of child poverty due to the Corona pandemic. The Paritätische demands, among other things, the introduction of a needs-based income-related basic child benefit. Source: nd

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