News from Berlin and Germany, 24th February 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Hundreds of people show solidarity with Dilan in Berlin

When Dilan was beaten up in Berlin, no one intervened. Now hundreds of people declared their solidarity with her and other victims of racist violence at a demonstration. The teenager herself was also there last Sunday. According to the police, the demonstration started at the Greifswalder Straße S-Bahn station with about 800 participants. This was significantly more than the number registered. There were banners where was written “Racism is not an opinion, but a crime,” or “Racism has many faces, but all of them are ugly”. Meanwhile, Berlin’s Interior Senator Iris Spranger said “Such cases are first and foremost shocking, and they must not happen.” Source: rbb.

“Everything that happened before has been exceeded”

“Antonia” has not yet subsided. Nevertheless, the Berlin fire brigade draws a first conclusion of the storm’s nights. Fire chief Karsten Homrighausen spoke of a “mammoth task” for the firefighters. The Berlin fire brigade has been called out on 4,000 occasions since Thursday because of the storm. A record of 15,000 emergency calls were received in 88 hours. Otherwise, there were 2,500 emergency calls in 24 hours. At the same time, a peak of 1,000 firefighters were on duty, including many volunteers. Almost 150 fire engines were manned. The scale of the disaster was “beyond anything we have ever seen before”, Homrighausen said. Source: rbb.

Protests in front of Russian embassy in Berlin

Following the invasion of Russian troops into eastern Ukraine, several groups in Berlin have announced protests in front of the Russian embassy. The Berlin police registered three registered events so far. President Putin has declared his intention to recognise the independence of the self-proclaimed “people’s republics” in Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. In response to the invasion, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said on Tuesday the certification of the gas pipeline “Nord Stream 2” would be temporarily suspended. Also, politicians in Berlin and Brandenburg have strongly condemned the latest Russian actions in the Ukraine conflict. Most of them accused Russia of breaking international law. Source: rbb.



Almost all COVID measures to be scrapped by March 20 in Germany

From March 20 on, most COVID restrictions are to be relaxed. Some federal states have already pressed forward with lifting 2G restrictions in non-essential shops, where patrons will just need to wear a medical mask, unless exempt. Some contact restrictions will also be scrapped. From March 4 onwards, 2G rules would be replaced by 3G rules in restaurants. Nightclubs will also be allowed to reopen, under 2G plus rules. From March 20 (the “Freedom Day”), there is a chance the only restriction that will stay in place is the obligation to wear a mask indoors as well as on public transport. Source: I am Expat.

South Africa finally wants vaccine patent release

South Africa’s President has called for a patent release for Corona vaccines during a joint European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) summit. It is unacceptable that Africa always has to take a back seat when it comes to medicines, said Cyril Ramaphosa, the AU representative for the Corona pandemic. Donations alone are not a sustainable way to build resilience, said Ramaphosa again. During the two-day summit, it was announced patent-free mRNA vaccine will be produced in six countries in Africa. But this is not enough for South Africa as the country wants the patent release. Source: rnd.

Hardliner’s Pact: Seal the Borders and Deport

That’s the agenda of a two-day “repatriation conference” that began on Monday at the Hofburg in Vienna. Ministers from 23 Schengen and Western Balkan states, representatives of the EU border protection force Frontex and other EU authorities as well as the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) met at the invitation of the Austrian government, which is known for its restrictive migration policy. The right-wing conservative Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) and his German counterpart, the Social Democrat Nancy Faeser, demonstratively presented themselves as quite aligned. Source: jW.

AfD politician causes criticism with statements about trans MPs

AfD deputy party and parliamentary group leader Beatrix von Storch has sparked much criticism across party lines with remarks about trans Bundestag member Tessa Ganserer (“die Grünen”). In a debate on International Women’s Day in the Bundestag, von Storch first accused the majority of MPs in the Bundestag of adhering to a “gender ideology”. Then, using the deadname of MP Ganserer, von Storch said the politician remains a man and if she enters the Bundestag as such “via the Green women’s quota and is listed here as a woman, that is simply illegal”. Source: Zeit.

Tags: ,