News from Berlin and Germany, 22nd September 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Union calls for all-day warning strike at Berlin’s schools

The Education and Science Union (GEW) has again called on its members in Berlin to go on warning strike on September 28. Teachers and school psychologists are to stay away from school all day. “The aim is to conclude a collective agreement on health protection, in which the ratio of pupils to teachers and thus the class size at general and vocational schools is bindingly regulated,” the union has announced. GEW also announced that it would extend its strike activities beyond 28 September and call for further strikes “in a timely manner”. Around 2,500 teachers participated in the last warning strike on 29 June. Source: tagesspiegel

Berlin pensioner pays almost 900 monthly euros for gas

Due to the energy crisis, many customers are seeing their gas bills rise significantly. This is also the case for Renate Sloma, an 82-year-old who suddenly must pay ten times as much as before. Yet she lives frugally, currently only turning on the heating briefly in the morning when she takes a shower. She gets her gas from Mitgas, which has given her an explanation, saying that the company believes that customers like Renate Sloma have long benefited from a favorable tariff with a fixed price guarantee. The new bill was “calculated at short notice”. In such cases, the consumer advice center suggests terminating the contract. Source: rbb

The €29 Berliner ticket

From October 1, Berlin will have the option to buy a monthly subscription for €29. But this ‘ticket’ has some differences than the popular 9-Euro-Ticket from last summer: it is actually a subscription and is valid only in the Berlin AB zone. Being a subscription, means you need to sign up for it on the website or app. And, quite importantly, that subscription does not end automatically on 31 December. This means you will have to cancel it before January or you will be charged for the month of January at the normal rate. Source: ExBerliner



Active waiting

It is phenomenal what a communicative blunder the German government has made since the beginning of the war in Ukraine: it supports an attacked country with weapons – and yet it is seen at home and abroad as lacking solidarity and being useless. This is actually incorrect. The fact this support is not adequately realized is partly due to a distorted view of German Ukraine policy. To some extent, the German government can blame itself for the mistrust because of the hesitancy that precedes every new aid pledge, and which has long exceeded the level of justified caution. Source: taz

EU Commission launches infringement proceedings against Germany

According to the EU, national governments must ensure that there is enough time for family life alongside work. Germany has not communicated in time how the directive on the so-called work-life balance, which has been in force since 2 August, should be implemented at national level. Therefore, the EU Commission will send a letter of formal notice to Germany, as well to other 18 EU member states, initiating a so-called infringement procedure. The aim of the new directive is gender equality in labor market participation. The work-life balance directive also targets workers who care for relatives. Source: DW

Deutsche Bank expects a ‘longer and deeper’ recession in Europe

Last Wednesday, Deutsche Bank’s economists argued their previous prediction for a “mild recession” in Europe is no longer valid as the energy crisis has worsened substantially since July. Europe’s energy crisis has wreaked havoc on the global economy since the Ukraine war began, but its roots stretch back to years before the conflict. Even with alleviation measures, Deutsche Bank’s chief economist, Mark Wall, argues that the efforts won’t be enough to avoid economic disaster. Wall’s comments came just a day before Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the “partial mobilization” of some 300,000 reserve troops in a major escalation of the war this week. Source: fortune

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