News from Berlin and Germany: 3rd April 2021

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany


Compiled by Ana Ferreira



Hard restriction of contacts, nurseries closed and curfew

Because of Covid-19, from Good Friday contact in Berlin has been limited even further. Between 9pm and 5am groups of more than 2 people are banned. Further limitations are expected after Easter. Non-food shopping and visiting hairdressers or museums is only allowed If you have a negative Corona test. Incidences of the virus in Berlin are stagnating – but at a very high level. Employers must offer Corona tests and encourage home office working, but workplaces stay open. Source: Berliner Zeitung


A message without courage

They wore black T-shirts, each with a white letter, “Humanrights” was the message. The German football players sent a signal for human rights before the first World Cup qualifier for Qatar. It is very rare in professional football for teams to go beyond the staged association campaigns against oppression or discrimination. Nevertheless, there was quick criticism. Thousands of guest workers have died around the construction sites for the 2022 World Cup. You can’t agree with that, and in Norway there has been an increasingly loud boycott movement since this latest news. But Germany has only shown T-shirts. Source: spiegel

Merkel’s options

Tougher corona measures are expected to come. The infection figures rise, and experience shows that things change when the state comes with new restrictions. Vaccination is too slow to reverse the trend in the short term. In the third wave, the force of the factual will work again. But it would be better if something happened sooner this time. There are political ways of doing this, but they are risky. That could be by pushing the minister-presidents to agree to new measures in the next federal-state round; by Angela Merkel involving simultaneously the Bundesrat as well as the Bundestag; or by having a decision in the Bundestag, without the Bundesrat. Source: taz

Clinics in the third wave

Calls for more centralisation are not only growing in the pandemic management of the government – this is happening in the health care system, too, especially in the care of Covid 19. For instance, the AOK considers that hospital treatments other than Covid-19 might have declined during the periods of heavy infection. On the other hand, the medical profession seems to have learned since the shock of the first wave: there is improved drug treatment of patients with anti-inflammatory and now also with blood-thinning drugs. So far, the German health system has not been overburdened, but AOK says there is a strong concern about the third wave. Source: nd

Racist and anti-Semitic stereotypes spread among police officers

Anti-Semitic and racist stereotypes are widespread in Saxony-Anhalt’s police force. These are the findings of a special commission, where it is also stated there are no indications of institutional racism or anti-Semitism in the police. However, the report notes the use of terms such as “Jew” for an “enterprising person”, “Fascist Tuesday” for the targeted control of foreigners as well as other derogatory terms for foreigners and Black people. It therefore recommends greater sensitisation as well as increased teaching of diversity, cultural competence and political education already in training. The police college should create a new professorship for this purpose. Source: mdr

Comeback or April Fool?

The former president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maaßen, wants to enter the Bundestag for the CDU in September. Mark Hauptmann, who has since left the party and is under investigation in the Union’s mask affair, was elected in this constituency in the 2017 Bundestag elections. The proposal is currently being discussed among the district associations. Federal Labour Minister Hubertus Heil reacted incredulously to the news of Maaßen’s plans. Addressing CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak and party leader Armin Laschet, the SPD politician tweeted: “This is surely a very bad April Fool’s joke – Oder????! Source: nd

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