News from Berlin and Germany, 26th November 2021

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



Homeless people set on fire in Kreuzberg.

A man who allegedly tried to set homeless people on fire has been kept in custody. He is suspected of having committed the crime on 26 September on Skalitzer Straße. There, a Molotov cocktail was hurled at a tent. At first, nothing was known about his motive. Two people were sleeping in the tent at the time – a 47-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman. The man woke up due to the impact, so both came out unharmed. According to figures from the Berlin police, homeless people in the capital are increasingly becoming victims of crime. Source: morgenpost

Works council election at delivery service Gorillas can go ahead

The works council election at the delivery service Gorillas, which has already begun, can continue. The LAG Berlin-Brandenburg ruled the preconditions for a judicial termination of the election were not met. The firm has already tried to stop the works council election at the labour court last week, citing formal deficiencies in the preparation. For example, the election committee had not been properly constituted. However, the labour court rejected the application. Workers at the delivery service can still vote on the committee until Saturday. The workers criticise, among other things, fixed-term contracts, low pay and inadequate equipment. Source: lto

Housing initiatives want the coalition to listen to them

Time is running out for the red-green-red coalition. On the agenda there are topics of urban development, education, finance, among others. The remaining disagreements must be settled in a final round of talks. The agreement must be in place by Friday evening so that the Left Party can start its membership poll and Franziska Giffey can be elected as Governing Mayor in December. Social housing must also be reorganised, Martin Parlow (AK Wohnungsnot) said. The initiative demands that an already drafted socialisation law should be brought to the House of Representatives. Other initiatives such as “bbk” identifies “important cross-sectoral needs.” Source: taz



Case against paramedic dropped after attack on refugee

The scene caused nationwide outrage: a video from a refugee accommodation in Kassel indicates a paramedic hitting a man fixed on a stretcher on the face with his fist. The victim, a 33-year-old refugee, is said to have suffered a fractured cheekbone. The paramedic was dismissed without notice. The opposition demanded a complete investigation, and the Hessian Refugee Council criticised the police’s actions: two police officers stood by and did not intervene. Investigations now show a different picture. The public prosecutor’s office in Kassel has closed the case against the paramedic. The suspicion that the accused deliberately hit the alleged victim was not substantiated. Source: hessenschau

Merkel consults with coalition on Corona crisis

Because of the rapidly rising corona numbers, there is a crisis meeting in the Chancellor’s Office: Angela Merkel and the leaders of the traffic light parties are discussing further measures in the fight against the pandemic. The background to the meeting is that the debate on universal compulsory vaccination is gaining momentum. Merkel and numerous other top politicians have ruled it out in the past. Some, such as Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) or Baden-Württemberg’s head of government Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), have since changed their minds. Hesse’s Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) also spoke out in favour. Source: spiegel

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