News from Berlin and Germany, 25th August 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Gasag passes on gas surcharges to customers as of October

Gasag, the main natural gas supplier and vendor in Berlin, announced on Friday that it would raise its prices by a total of 3.63 cents per kilowatt hour, including 19 per cent VAT. That should be felt by Berlin customers from October onwards. According to the company, as things stand, an average Berlin household with an annual consumption of around 12,000 kilowatt hours will face additional monthly costs of around 36.30 euros. For a single-family home with 20,000 kilowatt-hours, this means an extra 60.50 euros. The company is also passing on three different gas surcharges in full to consumers. Source: Berliner Zeitung



Higher fares after 9-euro ticket

The 9-Euro-Ticket will soon expire, but those who use buses and trams from September will not just pay the normal fares again in many cases. Passengers must prepare themselves for rising prices in local public transport. In and around Stuttgart, for example, fares will rise by an average of 4.9 per cent at the turn of the year, in the greater Nuremberg area it will be 3 per cent. In the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund, there was already a 3.9 per cent increase in July. Passengers will be able to use the 9-Euro-Ticket for the last time on local transport throughout Germany in August. Source: tagesschau

Inflation: what’s in store for consumers?

Prices in the eÉuro area are higher than ever – in July they were 8.9 per cent compared to the summer of 2021. In Germany, the momentum is somewhat weaker due to government intervention, with a price increase rate of 7.5 per cent. But fuel discounts and nine-euro tickets will be abolished in September, and wages are likely to rise. Many service providers – hairdressers, for example, – will also have to add the high energy prices to their prices. In addition, there will be hefty additional charges next year when landlords send out the statements for 2022. Source: dw

More people in Germany dying because of heat

As soon as temperatures climb above 30 degrees in Germany, more than usual people die (especially those over 65 years). This is part of a trend: since 2018, there has been an excess mortality of thousands of people in Germany every year due to heat, warned researchers. The climate crisis is a matter of life and death. It is therefore incomprehensible a national heat protection plan has not yet been planned in the country. France could serve as a model: there, the problem was tackled with a four-stage heat action plan with clear guidelines for the authorities, and a heat register for older people. Source: taz

Journalists who attacked police killing are acquitted

On Monday afternoon, the anti-fascist journalists Darius Reinhardt, Leila Robel and the social scientist Philipp Weidemann were acquitted. They were charged with defamation at the Fulda district court. The accusation related to an article by Robel and Reinhardt they published on the Amadeu Antonio Foundation’s portal “Belltower News”, in 2019. They wrote about Matiullah J., who was shot dead by the police in 2018. The judiciary assumed then self-defence for the policemen and dropped the case. The public prosecutor agreed with parts of the defence’s statement and asked for acquittal. He argued it was a matter of free expression of opinion. Source: nd

Frankfurt Hospital workers also demand minimum staffing levels

Encouraged by the successful industrial action for relief in Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia, workers organised in the ver.di trade union are also demanding a collective agreement on relief for the approximately 4,000 non-medical staff at Frankfurt University Hospital. This should include minimum staffing levels for the wards and departments as well as compensation for the strain in the form of additional days off if the regulations are not adhered to. At Vivantes and Charité in Berlin as well as at the six university hospitals in North Rhine-Westphalia, strike action was necessary to push through such collective agreements. Things have not quite reached that stage yet in Frankfurt. Source: nd

New rules for compulsory masks from October

From October onwards, FFP2 masks will be compulsory for long-distance and air travel, and masks and tests will be compulsory in hospitals and care facilities. In the first stage, there are still exceptions to compulsory masks indoors. The second stage comes on the condition of a strong corona wave, expected by Federal Health Minister Lauterbach. He said the new Infection Protection Act should provide the “tools” to deal with the pandemic. At this point, the mask obligation would apply without exception, and States could also impose minimum distance rules, a mask requirement for outdoor events and a participant cap for indoor events. Source: rbb

Riots in Rostock-Lichtenhagen: the Shadows of Reunification

In August 1992, a mob of neo-Nazis and neighbors hunted down Vietnamese contract workers and Roma refugees in Rostock. On 24 August 1992, on the fourth day of that pogrom, residents of a shelter, called “Sunflower House”, were trapped in it – and it was set fire. “Now you will be barbecued”, the mob shouts to those inside. Only by a miracle does no one lose their lives. The political failure at the time of reunification still has an impact today. Michel Friedman (Deutsche Welle) says: “If society had learned, we would not have the many deaths after the racist attack in Lübeck in 1996, (…) and in Hanau in 2020.” Source: dw

Tags: ,