News from Berlin and Germany, 3rd December 2021

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



Muslims and migrants most discriminated against

Nearly half of Berliners experience discrimination, especially in the workplace. Muslims, people with migration experience, and those on low incomes are by far the most affected. This is the result of the Berlin Monitor 2021, presented by the University of Leipzig and the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences. The survey reveals also that only six per cent of those affected seek advice from a representative. In contrast, every third person does nothing after being discriminated against. One in five avoids “such situations” and another five per cent change their place of residence or their way of life. Source: migazin

New protests from the Left against possible Senate participation

Internal resistance is forming in Berlin’s Left Party (“die LINKE”) against a possible participation in a Red-Green-Red coalition. For this, the platform “For a left opposition in Berlin” should go online using the Hashtag: “#NeinzumKoalitionsvertrag“. The call was initiated by parts of the Neukölln left. The background to the criticism is the announcement of the negotiated coalition agreement between the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party. Although there were also votes in 2016 rejecting participation in a government, this time the frustration and anger about the results of the negotiations seem to be somewhat greater. Source: nd



COVID and the German Constitutional ’emergency brake’ measures

The “emergency brake” measures from the German government were deemed constitutional by a top court. The restrictions were imposed automatically if infection rates passed certain levels. The court handed down two rulings, one regarding curfews and contact restrictions, the other regarding school closures. Both rulings dismissed complaints against the measures that had been lodged with the court. Many of the complaints were made by parliamentarians from the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP), one of the three parties in the incoming coalition government. Its leader Christian Lindner was among the complainants. The “emergency brake” was put in place as the country fought its third wave of the pandemic. Source: dw

Millions for railways flowed into trunk roads and airlines

The outgoing government set itself great goals in transport policy. The railways were to enter a completely new era: more passengers, more punctuality, more efficient trains. This is what the Federal Minister of Transport, Andreas Scheuer (CSU), signalled at the time. But the reality is different. In an audit report, the Federal Court of Auditors now makes it clear that the inspectors view the situation extremely critically. A state like Germany can no longer afford the current conditions at its own railway company, says Court of Auditors President Kay Scheller. The report also reveals compliance problems in the supervisory board of Deutsche Bahn. Source: Süddeutsche

Climate movement expected to radicalize

As the climate crisis progresses and there is a lack of political reaction, it is to be expected a small number of disappointed climate activists might go underground. Before that, however, the climate movement will become broadly radicalised, not only demonstrating and blocking, but also destroying whatever comes. Political scientist Frauke Höntzsch from the University of Augsburg also considers the radicalisation of the climate protest movements in general to be “a realistic scenario”. There are for instance local groups of Fridays for Future, which are increasingly pushing the movement to focus on civil disobedience beyond the school strike. Source: taz


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