News from Berlin and Germany, 29th June 2023

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Expropriation is possible; Expert Commission published

“It’s a day of hope,” says Carolin Blauth from the ‘Deutsche Wohnen & co Enteignen’ campaign, “We will not stop, until this city belongs to those who live in it”. On Wednesday, the final report was published by the expert commission on socialisation of the largest property owning companies in Berlin. The report came out in support of the 2021 referendum result, during which 60% of Berliners voted for expropriation. The pressure is now mounting on the Red-Black Berlin government to implement the demands of the referendum, and with the final report confirming that not only is expropriation legal, but practical. Source: süddeutsche

Rigaer Straße: the village square in danger

Tenants in Rigaer Straße want to save their flats from being sold off. The story of the many occupied houses in this area, first from occupied to permitted squat and then on to regular tenancies, is not yet over. The flats of the three houses at the Liebigstraße 14 complex as well as Rigaer Straße 95 and 96 are now up for sale. Before the street became part of a milieu protection area in 2021, the owner, a Hamburg company, had already divided up the houses with a view to sell. The housing community does not want to let this happen, having spoken to politicians and cooperatives in the hope of finding a buyer for the all the buildings and flats within. Source: nd-aktuell

Last Generation new direct actions

The “Last Generation” drew attention to itself last Monday with a new form of protest. It involved obstructing car traffic, but this time there was no glue involved. Members of the movement obstructed the traffic at a total of four different locations in Berlin. Unlike usual, however, the climate protesters did not install a sit-in blockade or glue themselves down, but walked slowly in front of cars with a banner. Behind them, traffic was jamming, but went on flowing. The blockade actions were reported to the police around 8 am. All four actions had ended “peacefully and without disturbances”. Source: rbb

Lawsuits against Berlin over two-year wait for German citizenship

More and more people have made up their minds on resorting to lawsuits against the state of Berlin, trying to speed up their German citizenship processes. According to Tagespiegel, people in the German capital are currently waiting as long as two years to have them ready. And the pile of open cases just keeps growing – there are currently almost 30, 000 citizenship cases on file in the city. Lawsuits under such situations are possible when applications are not promptly processed. Berlin is struggling to meet the demand. A new central office to handle claims is planned to be opened next year. Source: exberliner



Robert Sesselmann; the first AfD district administrator

The AfD candidate Robert Sesselmann has won the district council election in the Thuringian district of Sonneberg and assumes a top municipal office for the party for the first time in Germany. The 50-year-old received 52.8 per cent of the votes in the run-off election in the district in the south of Thuringia on Sunday and thus obtained the necessary absolute majority, the election administration announced on Sunday evening. The CDU candidate Jürgen Köpper. AfD national leader Tino Chrupalla cheered the result and wrote on a social media: “This was just the beginning,” Source: spiegel

Two racist attacks a day

Whether in the classroom or at work: Muslims end up fearing racist attacks. More precisely, 898 attacks (more than two a day), were recorded in the situation report on anti-Muslim racism for 2022, presented last Monday. The report is the responsibility of five civil society organisations under the leadership of CLAIM – Alliance against Islamophobia and Muslimophobia. Women in particular experience more insults and physical attacks. In addition, Muslims experience discrimination in educational institutions from kindergartens to universities – especially by teachers. The situation picture shows only a part of the situation. The organisations assume the number of unreported cases is higher. Source: taz

Pistorius wants to station 4,000 soldiers in Lithuania

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) has announced an additional of 4,000 Bundeswehr soldiers to be sent to NATO partner country Lithuania to strengthen the Organization´s eastern flank. “Germany is prepared to permanently station a robust brigade in Lithuania,” Pistorius said in Vilnius. He had agreed with his Lithuanian counterpart Arvydas Anusauskas that the reinforcement of the brigade would follow step by step “the growth of the infrastructure”. Pistorius stressed that the compatibility of the permanent deployment with NATO’s regional and operational plans, which were still being worked on, was of central importance. Source: tagesschau.

No staff for 1,719 clinics

In a report, Health Minister Lauterbach (SPD) defended the planned hospital reform and made it clear that time was pressing. He said that there was already a lack of staff such that it is not possible to keep all hospitals running. He had also commented: “We want to write the draft law over the summer, and the States should be involved. However, the matter is an urgent one: “The hospitals are slowly getting into great economic distress.” He has also stated that “we have 1,719 hospitals, for which we do not have the staff.” The hospital reform, according to Lauterback, is “at least ten years overdue”. Source: tagesschau

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