News from Berlin and Germany, 18th August 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Audit committee recommends repeat of Bundestag election in Berlin

A repeat of the Bundestag election in numerous Berlin districts is becoming increasingly likely. A first draft of a draft resolution by the Bundestag’s electoral review committee envisages a re-vote in around 440 polling stations. This was announced by the committee on Wednesday. According to the information, the districts of Pankow, Mitte and Reinickendorf are particularly affected, but not only these. However, observers believe it will be several weeks before a decision is made on the final proposal for a repeat election in the capital. No significant impact on the outcome of the election is expected. Source: tagesspiegel

Chancellor’s Office and its pricey extension

The planned extension of the Federal Chancellery in Berlin is getting more and more expensive. According to the Federal Government’s homepage, under the heading “Larger seat of government”, the construction costs are now estimated at up to 640 million euros. The page was last updated at the beginning of this month. At the end of 2020, the costs were still stated at a maximum of 600 million euros. An initial feasibility study in 2018 had assumed 457 million euros. According to the Federal Government, the reasons for that increase are the higher security requirements for the extension. Source: morgenpost



16 year old refugee shot dead – Police bodycams were switched off

There is no video footage of the police operation in which the 16-year-old Senegalese refugee Mouhamed Lamine Dramé was shot dead in Dortmund on Monday last week. The reason: none of the eleven officers deployed had switched on their body cameras. In an internal report to the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of the Interior, first reported by the Kölner Stadtanzeiger on Monday evening, the Dortmund police headquarters attempted to justify the shooting by saying that it was a “dynamic situation” in which the officers have forgotten to switch on the camera in the course of a stressful situation. Source: jW

Gas crisis slows Leipzig’s coal phase-out

The news made national headlines: Leipzig wants to phase out coal 16 years before the federal government. As early as next winter, much of the district heating for 220,000 households is planned to be generated in a new power plant that the municipal utility is currently building in the south of the Saxon city, where no more coal will be burnt. The plant is now on schedule for completion: commissioning is currently underway, and it is scheduled to go online at the end of October. But it is uncertain how long it can run in the next heating period. Source: nd

Mysterious fish death in the Oder: climate change or toxic waste?

About ten tons of fish are said to have died in the Oder. This is an ecological disaster. German and Polish authorities have so far not found the cause. Tests have been carried out for mercury and other substances, but all so far have been negative. Meanwhile, officials report that no fish carcasses have yet been spotted on the Baltic coast. It is also believed the extremely low water level of the River Oder, in combination with possible contamination, may have accelerated the fish deaths. The catastrophe may also indicate a deeper and more widespread problem. Polish fishermen found the first dead animals as early as March. Source: dw

New commisioner urges government to do more to protect minorities

The new federal commissioner for anti-discrimination presents her first annual report. In her report, Ferda Ataman urges the government to extend the legal provisions for protection against discrimination. The number of reported cases of discrimination in Germany remains “at a high level”. With more than 5,600 requests for advice to her institution, it is “alarming”, says Ataman, the new head of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (ADS). “But it also shows that more and more people are not putting up with discrimination and are seeking help.” She also mentioned schools, police and authorities as possible places of discrimination. Source: dw

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