News from Berlin and Germany, 19th July 2023

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



Berlin Senate decides for mandatory ID in swimming pools

Large scale fights at the city’s outdoor pools are nothing new, but the problem has reached a new level with the swimming pool at Columbiabad remaining closed until further notice after many employees called in sick – apparently in protest at the level of violence they were facing at work. Last Thursday, at a visit to the outdoor pool at Prinzenbad in Kreuzberg, Berlin mayor Kai Wegner (CDU) announced plans to introduce mandatory ID checks for all guests. In the future, visitors will need to book personalised tickets and identify themselves as they enter. Video surveillance will also be introduced. Source: exberliner

Tesla wants to build the largest car factory in Germany

The American electric car manufacturer Tesla wants to produce one million vehicles per year at its plant in Grünheide in the future. Instead of the previous 5,000 cars per week, 20,000 would roll off from the assembly line. Tesla would thus have the largest plant for car production in Germany. The group also wants to inform citizens about its plans. From Wednesday (July 19) on, citizens can take part in the approval process and raise their concerns. The application documents will be online until August 18 at the webpage Source: rbb24


Women make allegations against Rammstein keyboarder

The band Rammstein has been publicly criticized for weeks due to allegations sexual assault by singer Till Lindemann, which Lindemann denies. According to a media report, there are now new allegations:  two women accuse Rammstein keyboardist Christian Lorenz, known as “Flake,” of sexual assault. In one case, the woman is said to have been a minor. The incidents are said to have happened more than 20 years ago. According to NDR and “Süddeutsche Zeitung,” “Flake” rejects the allegations. Last weekend, Rammstein performed two concerts in Berlin. Around 300 people demanded a ban on the events in front of the Olympic Stadium on Saturday. Source: rbb24

Teachers who made right-wing incidents public leave the school in Burg

In April, two teachers in Burg, in the Spree-Neiße district, made right-wing extremist and racist incidents at their school public, triggering a nationwide debate. “We are addressing the public because we are confronted with right-wing extremism, sexism and homophobia in our everyday work as school staff and no longer want to keep our mouths shut.” According to the police,around 30 stickers with photos of the teachers and urging them to go to Berlin have been posted. The two teachers will leave the school. And, still in this year, both are to receive the “Prize for civil courage against anti-Semitism, right-wing radicalism and racism.” Source: rbb24

Majority for candy advertising ban

According to a survey, carried out by the organization Foodwatch, most Germans support the plans of Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) to restrict advertising for sweets aimed at children. Two-thirds of those surveyed are in favor of extensive restrictions on advertising for foods with high sugar, fat, or salt content in schools, kindergartens, as well as on television and on the Internet. Özdemir has already had his original plans watered down due to pressure from the liberals. Now the FDP must finally give up its blockade. The minister appealed to the traffic-light-alliance to discuss the law in the Bundestag as soon as possible. Source: tagesschau

Called for solidarity with Last Generation activists

The protest actions of the group “Last Generation”, carried out last week, called for a necessary U-turn in climate protection with partial blockades of roads, among other issues. They also have increasingly involved physical confrontations and attacks with vehicles against protesters. The group, often discredited as “climate gluers” in the tabloid and conservative media, now receives support from an alliance of civil society groups. “Activists are currently being criminalized in Germany and presented as a threat to public order. They are denied their basic rights to freedom of expression and assembly,” says the appeal, which can currently be found on the online platform Campact. Source: nd-aktuell

Germany is far ahead in Europe when it comes to home office

According to a study published by the Munich Ifo Institute, German employees can work from home to a particularly large extent compared to other European countries. Germany comes in second place among 17 European countries with an average of one day of home office per week. Among the countries ahead of Germany are the United Kingdom (1.5 days), Canada (1.7 days), and the USA (1.4 days). The survey also suggests there might be a further increase in working from home: according to their employees, employers in most countries are planning more home office than is currently being implemented. Source: dw

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