News from Berlin and Germany, 3rd November 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



“Last generation” at the Naturkundemuseum

Two climate protesters (“Last Generation”) stood in front of a 66-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton at Berlin’s Natural History Museum. Commenting on the action, the Last Generation protest group said, “Just like the dinosaurs back then, we are threatened with climate changes that we cannot withstand. If we don’t want to face extinction, we need to act now.” The police mentioned the 34- and 42-year-old women detached themselves from the poles at around 2:45 pm and were temporarily arrested. According to the police, the museum has filed charges of trespassing and damage to property. The hall where the skeleton is located was temporarily closed. Source: rbb

IG Metall continues strikes in Berlin

The industrial union IG Metall for the Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony district is continuing its series of warning strikes in Berlin. As a prelude, it called for action at the Mercedes engine plant in the Marienfelde district. According to the union, about 200 workers stopped working there. Later, 800 workers at the BMW motorbike plant in Spandau followed. There were also warning strikes at the offices and plants of Stadler Deutschland, Stadler Rail and GE Power in the Pankow district and at G-Elit Präzisionswerkzeug GmbH in Reinickendorf. IG Metall also called for warning strikes at companies of the Siemens Group. Source: tagesspiegel




“Last generation”: “We have drawn attention to the issue”.

For months “Last Generation” acts have been met with anger from the population. And in politics, it feels like very little is happening. But a central demand of the “Last Generation” last summer was that no new oil drilling should be carried out in the North Sea. In mid-July, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate declared, in response to a request from NDR, that the federal government was not preparing any oil drilling or reviewing the possibilities for such drilling. A sign of success? “What we have managed to do is draw attention to the issue,” says Lukas Popp, a participant of the movement. Source: Berliner Zeitung

Baerbock employee becomes RWE lobbyist

The RWE coal compromise of the Greens is causing a lot of criticism from environmentalists: according to a report, a close confidant of Foreign Minister Baerbock (“die Grünen”), Titus Rebhann, is now moving to that energy giant. He is to accompany the “political opinion-forming processes on energy-related issues” there, and expected to be the head of the capital city representation from 1 March 2023. The Foreign Office assured that Rebhann had neither had professional contacts with RWE nor participated in projects directly related to RWE during his active time there. Source: n-tv

Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof: more difficult days to come

Germany’s last big department stores’ group Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof wants to close more than 40 of its remaining 131 department stores. This was announced by company boss Miguel Müllenbach, in Essen. A few hours earlier, the company had sought rescue in protective shield proceedings for the second time in less than two years. The manager considers that “operational layoffs would be unavoidable.” In a letter to the staff, Müllenbach wrote the company would have to divest itself of those branches that “could not be operated profitably in the foreseeable future.” The retail giant with its 17,000 employees is still represented in 97 German cities. Source: morgenpost

Study proves: 9-Euro-Ticket strengthens social participation of people with low incomes

A new study by the Institute of Transport and Space at the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt shows that the 9-Euro-Ticket has significantly improved access to the transport system and thus the opportunities for social participation of people with low incomes. For the respondents, the ticket enabled increased social contacts, more activities outside the home, and improved accessibility to services of general interest, and thus led to a better quality of life for low-income people overall. In view of the study results, a successor regulation is suggested by the researchers to be oriented towards the needs of those beneficiaries. Source: idw

The German 49-euro ticket

Federal and state governments agreed about a successor to the nine-euro ticket. It is to be called the “Deutschlandticket”. The agreement by financial matters provides the Federal Government and the Länder will share the costs for the 49-euro ticket totalling three billion euros per year. Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) said the new ticket would be “digital” and “simple”. Whether the “Deutschlandticket” can be launched as planned on 1 January is still open, however. The nine-euro ticket, which was bought by millions, had made bus and train journeys possible for one month each in June, July and August. Source: rbb

Court sentences Boateng for assault

The Munich I Regional Court has convicted football world champion Jérôme Boateng of assault in his appeal trial. It imposed a fine of 120 daily sentences of 10,000 euros, or 1.2 million euros. This is a total of 600,000 euros less than the district court had imposed previously in the first verdict. The public prosecutor demanded a prison sentence of one and a half years for Boateng. He was to be sentenced for dangerous bodily harm, intentional bodily harm and insult. This prison sentence could be suspended, and the probation period should be set at three years. Source: spiegel

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