News from Berlin and Germany, 29th March 2023

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



CDU and SPD agree on development at Tempelhofer Feld

In their coalition talks, the CDU and the SPD in Berlin have agreed to build on parts of Tempelhofer Feld. This is the result of the final agreement paper of the negotiating group for urban development and housing. The two parties want housing to be built by state-owned housing associations and public-interest cooperatives. The CDU mentions clearly the procedure of a “referendum”. However, the SPD is vague about it, considering that such decision should rest with the people of Berlin. This could mean that the future of Tempelhofer Feld is possibly linked to the result of the next parliamentary elections in 2026. Source: tagesspiegel

No chance against fossil powers and anti-democratic politics

Klimaneustart holds companies and politicians partly responsible for the failure of the referendum “Berlin 2030 climate neutral”. Although most of the voters, a total of 442,210, were in favor of the capital becoming climate-neutral as early as 2030, the needed amount of 608,000 votes was not reached. However, more astonishing is that a very large number of voters, a total of 423,418, ticked the ‘no’ box – instead of simply not attending. The need for a car as means of transport and the refusal to combine the referendum with the elections on February 12 are believed to be among the sources of these decisions. Source: nd


Life at the edge: how a single parent manages in Germany

Since Christina Sander became a mother, she has been at risk of poverty and prices are rising. She and her daughter live on Bafög, housing benefit, child benefit, and the citizen’s allowance she gets for Zoe. That gives her a total of just under 2,000 euros a month. The official poverty line in 2021 for a single parent with one child was 1,621 euros a month. This means Christina Sander and her daughter are about 300 euros away from being at risk of poverty – for now. Inflation and the energy crisis hit benefit recipients and families with low incomes particularly hard. Source: taz

“Migration is thought of in male terms”

The planned German law on skilled labor immigration does not take women’s needs sufficiently into account, says lawyer Sina Fontana. Although the regulation does not make any distinction between men and women, she highlights aspects such as childcare. The maximum age at which a potential migrant receives extra points according to the system, 35 years old, is exactly the one at which child-rearing usually takes place. Moreover, she notes that this is mainly done by women. This means women may have worse chances of getting the opportunity card. Source: taz

German Leopard tanks have arrived in Ukraine

The 18 Leopard 2 battle tanks promised by Germany to Ukraine have now arrived. According to a report in the magazine “Der Spiegel,” the transport had already begun last week. Now the tanks have been handed over to the Ukrainian armed forces at the border. 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles have also been delivered. The Federal government launched a new platform to strengthen Germany’s engagement in the reconstruction of Ukraine, which is intended to network non-state actors. “The reconstruction of Ukraine has already begun, even though unfortunately there is still no end to the war in sight,” said Development Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) when presenting this project. Source: dw

Biggest strike in decades: warning strike paralyses transport infrastructure in Germany

A hint of the extension of the strike waves in France or Great Britain arrived in Germany on Monday: buses and trains remained largely in depots for 24 hours, and planes on the ground. Frank Werneke, ver.di’s leader, considered this to be the largest strike in the Federal Republic since 1992. Around 335,000 workers followed the joint call of the service sector union ver.di and the railway and transport union (EVG) for a nationwide warning strike. On the same day, the third round of negotiations with ver.di for approximately 2.5 million federal civil servants and local authorities began in Potsdam. Source: jW

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