News from Berlin and Germany: 21st August 2021

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany


compiled by Ana Ferreira



Berlin police slow to react to right-wing chat group

The police had leads, yet it took more than a year before they acted against a right-wing chat group. It had a striking name, after all: it was called: “Die Eierköppe”. And it was not until this summer that investigators came across the second “Eierköppe” chat group. The “eggheads” are alleged to have sent messages with “inhuman content” from September 2017 to November 2019, including pictures, racist content and anti-constitutional symbols. The investigations into the “Eierköppen” are being conducted by the public prosecutor’s office and the internal police investigation group “Zentral”. The cases involve 32 police officers. Source: tagesspiegel

Strike date set for health workers

This Friday the 100-day ultimatum expires. Neither the Charité nor and Vivantes hospitals nor the Berlin Senate have made any concrete proposal to improve working conditions for non-medical employees. Therefore, the union bargaining committees decided that there will be a strike from 23 to 25 August. Vivantes railed against the work stoppages, affirming the safety and well-being of patients would be “endangered”. Verdi’s position is clear: wherever there is no risk to patients from a strike, the right of workers to strike must be made possible. If the situation does not change, Verdi will call on for a strike ballot on 30 August. Source: jW

Berlin Kulturbrauerei apparently threatened with sale

The Kulturbrauerei is apparently up for sale. It has, according to the owner’s estimates, the sale value of the site is around 150 million euros. This is indeed a possibility, and it would also have the right timing once most of the leases expire at the end of 2021. The building itself, built by Franz Schwechten, is well protected by the historic legislation and in excellent condition – thanks, among other things, to large investments done by the state. But such protection applies only to buildings. If the Senate wants to protect the current users, it must try something else. Source: rbb



Covid not under control in Germany

In Israel, where the next Covid wave is already there, the number of hospital admissions and corona deaths rises. With a vaccination rate slightly higher than that in Germany, Israel is still far from getting the pandemic under control. We know why this is so: vaccinations do not protect against infection, but against serious illnesses. Meanwhile, in Germany, due to the unwillingness of many to pick up the first or second dose of the carefully tested and effective vaccines, the risk of another wave approaches. It is therefore misleading to keep adding new high-risk areas, as if the situation here is much safer than elsewhere. It is not. Source: taz

Brandenburg is taking over initial reception of Afghans

Brandenburg wants to take over the initial reception of local Afghan forces arriving in Germany. The people from Afghanistan will initially stay at the reception centre in Eisenhüttenstadt for three to four days after their arrival. There, they will be tested for the coronavirus, and receive medical assistance if needed. Meanwhile, the Left Party faction in Brandenburg is calling for a state reception programme for 500 refugees from Afghanistan. Berlin gets ready, too, to take in refugees from Afghanistan. According to the State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF), there are currently 1,250 places available in Berlin to accommodate refugees. Source: rbb

Former AfD leader charged with tax evasion

Former AfD leader Frauke Petry is once again on trial. She will have to answer for tax evasion and subsidy fraud in an appeal trial before the Leipzig Regional Court. The public prosecutor’s office accused Petry of having received funding for a so-called turn-around consultancy for her company. However, the consultancy was not for the company, but exclusively for the preparation and support of her personal insolvency. In the first instance, the public prosecutor’s office demanded a 30,000 euro fine for subsidy fraud, breach of trust and tax evasion. Source: swp

NSU verdicts finally confirmed

Twenty-one years after the first murder of Enver Şimşek, ten years after the NSU terror was uncovered and three years after the end of the trial, the Federal Supreme Court has now declared the verdicts against Beate Zschäpe and two co-defendants final. The decision rewards the persistent taking of evidence by the Munich Criminal Senate led by Manfred Götzl. Nevertheless, decisive questions about the NSU terror are still unanswered. Among them, how did the trio choose its victims? Were there other helpers? Where did the weapons come from? Did the Office for the Protection of the Constitution know more after all? Source: taz

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