News from Berlin and Germany, 17th November 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Nursing strike starts in Lichtenberg

Staff shortages, wage disputes and the looming election campaign: Berlin’s health service is facing turbulent months. On the last days, with the support of ver.di at the Sana hospital in Lichtenberg, nursing staff have stopped work. According to the union, the nursing staff should receive at least 150 euros more basic salary per month as well as new shift bonuses. A tough round of collective bargaining is underway not only at Sana-Klinikum. The doctors at Charité, who are members of the Marburger Bund, are also demanding a wage increase and more reliable shift work. Source: Tagesspiegel

Election to the Berlin House of Representatives must be repeated

After electoral breakdowns and massive organizational problems during the elections in Berlin on 26 September 2021, the Berlin Constitutional Court has declared the elections for the House of Representatives and the district councils invalid. They will thus have to be repeated. The Constitutional Court had already considered such a repetition of the elections to the House of Representatives at an oral hearing on 28 September this year and justified this on the grounds of serious electoral errors. According to the new state election commissioner, Stephan Bröchler, the most likely date is 12 February. Source: Spiegel

Good climate for referendum

For a long time, many doubted that the supporters for radically more climate protection in Berlin would manage to gather enough signatures for a referendum. But exactly 261,968 signatures were collected within the past four months, said Jessamine Davis, spokesperson for the initiative Klimaneustart Berlin. “This is an incredible number”, she added. Werner Graf (“die Grünen”) was also pleased with the large number of votes collected. Nevertheless, according to Graf, the Greens will not support the draft bill of the Climate Start initiative, which will be put to a vote. This stipulates that Berlin must be climate neutral by 2030. Source: taz




Can it get worse?

On 10 November 2022, a new and still little-noticed law was discussed in the Bundestag. On the surface, it is supposed to speed up asylum procedures and legal action – in fact, it will make it even harder for refugees to sue for their rights in court. PRO ASYL demands the abolition of the disadvantageous special asylum procedure law. Among other issues, it can be that, during the hearing, which is considered to be the heart of the asylum procedure, the persons concerned often have to talk about stressful and shameful experiences, for example, if they have been raped. Source: proasyl

Hanau victims allegedly mocked

Last week, the fire alarm went off during the Hanau enquiry committee in the state parliament, and everyone left the building. The issue was that an exit was closed in the Landtag. Many from the group which left the building laughed. The episode speaks of a disrespectful incident without a minimum of sensitivity. It was an allusion to the escape door in the Arena Bar. There, Hamza Kurtovic and Said Nesar Hashemi were killed, and several people were seriously injured. After the alarm episode in the latter days, those who were there, including the CDU parliamentary group, rejected the accusations of being discourteous. Source: fr

Majority of Germans want to boycott Qatar World Cup

An online survey has revealed 65 percent of Germans support a public screening boycott of the 2022 men’s World Cup, which is about to begin in Qatar. Over the weekend in Germany, football fans attended the penultimate weekend of the nationwide Bundesliga competition to demonstrate their opposition to Qatar hosting the quadrennial competition. Most notably, Hertha BSC fans in Berlin brandished a sign reading “15.000 dead for 5.760 minutes of football. Shame on you!” Fans also had pride flags. Also, on Tuesday evening, Qatar’s World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman made blatant homophobic comments, which has made the situation even more tense. Source: iamexpat

Something is moving on the left again

Health should not be organized according to profit logic. The increased prices for food, which should be “subsidised”. And the climate movement bloc was demanding a faster switch to renewable energies. All these problems and concerns have one thing in common: they need money. It is therefore only logical that the city’s left movement, in an alliance of more than 50 groups, took to the streets on Saturday, united behind the slogan: “Redistribute. From top to bottom.” Around 7,000 took part. Source: taz

Union blocks Hartz IV reform

The CDU and CSU made it clear they would not approve the “citizen’s income” bill from the traffic light coalition (“die Ampel”) in the Bundesrat. This plan did not receive the necessary majority in the state chamber, this week. Immediately after the meeting, Federal Labour Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) declared that the federal government has nonetheless decided to appeal to the mediation committee. The CDU and CSU once again emphasized what matters to them: they demand changes at the Job Centres such as lowering the limit of €60,000 on private assets, which was raised during the corona pandemic. Source: jW


Tags: ,