News from Berlin and Germany, 1st November 2023

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Potsdam and Berlin housing costs´ranking

Living in Potsdam and Berlin is more expensive than the German average, but still not as much as in other major German cities. This is shown in a study by the employer-affiliated Institute of the German Economy and the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development. According to the study, prices in Potsdam are 6.6 per cent higher than the average, in Berlin 5.5 per cent. Potsdam is in 29th place in the ranking of the most expensive districts, Berlin in 38th place. Housing costs are by far the highest in the city of Munich, almost 81 per cent higher than the national average. Source: rbb

Bomb threats at Berlin Hauptbahnhof

The alarm was raised at Hauptbahnhof at three o’clock last Tuesday morning. The threat came in the form of an email received by Deutsche Bahn. Police immediately deployed additional emergency services but, upon investigation, determined that there was no immediate threat to passengers. This was not an isolated incident. Several institutions across Berlin were threatened last Monday and Tuesday, including schools, media outlets, embassies and the Willy Brandt House, an official building of the SPD. Further investigations are now being carried out by Germany’s state security agency, who suspect that these acts were politically motivated. Source: exberliner

Last Generation with mass blockade on Straße des 17. Juni

Hundreds of climate activists blocked the street Straße des 17. Juni at several points last Saturday. The police spoke of about 600 participants, Last Generation of 1,400. Members of the group Extinction Rebellion from the Netherlands were also part of the mass blockade under the slogan “Stop the fossil subsidies!”. Around 160 activists stuck themselves to the road – and not only with glue, but also with a sand mixture. However, protesters in one lane also stepped aside to let an emergency vehicle pass. The police used pain holds several times, a reporter for the Berliner Zeitung reported. One demonstrator screamed in pain and shouted “proportionality” as he was carried away. Source: Berliner Zeitung

Relief after Wagenknecht era

The plans of Bundestag member Sahra Wagenknecht for a new party are causing an unusual movement in the membership statistics of the Berlin Left Party. Within a week, 64 people joined the Left Party in Berlin and 29 left. Both figures were significantly higher than usual. Berlin’s Left Party leader Maximilian Schirmer said that he did not expect such a large exodus from his party because of Wagenknecht’s decision. The party presented a statement, saying it considered her decision to be a “relief”. It added that the left will once again focus on its programme and put social crises centre stage. Source: nd-aktuell


Stateless people in Germany

The German government wants to make naturalisation easier with a new citizenship law. But for the roughly 126,000 stateless people living in the country, nothing will change. Christiana Bukalo, 29, born in Germany but stateless, talks about it and how everyday life can become a challenge at any time. Whether its opening a bank account, booking a hotel, getting married, pursuing a career as a civil servant — you need an ID for everything. But which state will issue you a passport if you have no nationality at all? Source: dw

I grew up in Bosnia, amid fear and hatred of Muslims. Now I see Germany’s mistakes over Gaza

The author of this article, writer Lana Bastašić, recalls her experiences as a child in Bosnia. 28 years after the Dayton peace agreement, she believes there is no such thing as peace after an ethnic cleansing. Bosnia is still deeply divided. People can’t agree on what to call the language spoken. War criminals are venerated on all sides. In her article she calls attention to the mention of the word “Palestine” in Germany, risks getting someone accused of antisemitism. Any attempt at providing context and sharing facts on the historical background to the conflict is seen as crude justification of Hamas’s terror. Source: guardian

Scholz: opinion comes from the poll

It is astonishing to see the choice of words with which some politicians are now using to talk about immigrants and language used by Chancellor Scholz has recieved critism. Politicians (mostly men) who were themselves in power with their parties not long ago, people like Carsten Linnemann, Friedrich Merz or Jens Spahn, speak particularly loudly and with particularly little empathy. Those three, by the way, hold similar party credentials as Angela Merkel. As Chancellor, she founded what is now suddenly being called “unbridled” or even “illegal migration”. An interview Scholz gave to “Der Spiegel” shows his 180-degree turn. “We must finally deport on a grand scale,” read the title with a determined looking chancellor. Source: nd-aktuell

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