News from Berlin and Germany, 20th January 2022

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



Black man assaulted by ticket inspectors

Abbéy Odunlami was in a hurry in December 2020. He was on his way by bike, but to get to his destination faster he bought a ticket and took the subway. There came a normal ticket check. But something happened. There are different versions, but one thing is certain: five minutes later Odunlami had his collarbone and two ribs broken. It was probably about the bike, but he was not sure, because of his German. The inspectors now claimed his other ticket was not valid, either. Nonetheless, he had the impression it was not about that, but about the fact he is black. Source: Berliner Zeitung

Berlin flathunters recommended to move to Cottbus

Berlin remains an Eldorado for landlords. The statisticians at ImmoScout24 have calculated an average of 174 responses in the city for an apartment offer in 2021. In Frankfurt am Main there were just 15. The ImmoScout24 experts see though an alternative option for heavily burdened tenants in medium-sized towns that are located further away from the metropolises. For Berlin, Cottbus – about 75 minutes away by train, could be that alternative. But, of course, this would be for those who are not firmly rooted in their “Kiez.” ImmoScout expects still a significant burden on tenants for Berlin within the next twelve months. Source: Spiegel



Police raid anti-AfD satirists

The Centre for Political Beauty (ZPS), by means of the “Flyerservice Hahn”, a fictional company that supposedly distributed flyers, shredded millions of AfD flyers instead of distributing them. Now the police have searched the premises of the initiative. The art activists drew then the map with the central question of art activism: what is still art, what is already activism, what is mere activism – and at what point are things punishable? When is artistic freedom perhaps even abused to transgress criminal law boundaries? The Berlin public prosecutor’s office has initiated investigations in response to a complaint. Source: br

Germany designates all neighbors as “high-risk”

With Austria being put on Germany´s travel warning list, all of its neighbors are now designated “high-risk”. The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark were already on that list. Anyone crossing the borders who has not been vaccinated or recently infected must go immediately into quarantine for 10 days. The isolation period can be shortened if a negative test is provided. Germany itself has recorded a new high in its seven-day incidence of new cases on Sunday: 515.7 new infections per 100,000 people per week, marking the first time the measure has exceeded 500 in the country. Source: dw

New government coalition discusses a strategy on fascism

How to deal with the AfD? “Fascists never stop being fascists. You don’t argue with them, history has shown,” says a line from a well-known song, “It’s all covered by artistic freedom.” But one thing seems to be clear for the “traffic light coalition”: the democratic parliamentary groups in the House of Representatives, as well as in the district councils, need a strategy on how to deal with the extreme right. It makes little sense for the democratic groups to constantly compete to see which is the best anti-fascist party. Unity sends a much stronger signal. Source: nd

German weapons exports hit record – roughly half to Egypt

Arms exports from Germany brought a record revenue in 2021, with just under half coming from Egypt. The agency responsible said the new “traffic light coalition” government wants tighter regulation. Preliminary figures from the Economic Affairs and Climate Action Ministry show that Germany exported arms worth almost €10 billion euros last year — 61% up, comparing to 2020. Also, almost €6 billion went to so-called third countries. Of those, by far the highest spender was Egypt, to which some €4.34 billion of goods — mainly air defense systems and maritime equipment — were exported. Source: dw

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