News from Berlin and Germany, 4th August 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



1,200 cases of Monkeypox in Berlin

The risk of contracting so-called monkeypox is particularly high in Europe and has prompted the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency of international scope. With more than 1,200 cases, Berlin is the lone frontrunner in Germany – about half of all infections in Germany were registered in the capital. When the first cases became known in the country, the warnings were mainly directed at men who have sexual intercourse with other men. But the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) emphasizes the risk is not limited to this group but refers in general to people whose sexual partners change often. Source: morgenpost

Lederer demands new Corona rules from the federal government

Berlin’s culture senator Klaus Lederer (“die Linke”) calls for new Corona rules for Autumn and Winter. Lederer hopes that cultural institutions will not have to close completely again. He can also imagine an extensive extension of the nine-euro ticket. The politician also commented on the possible energy shortage in Winter. He said that here, too, it was important to hear from the federal government what was being planned. In his opinion, a gas price cap was conceivable. Massive support measures would probably be necessary in all areas. The state of Berlin might have to take out additional loans or pass a supplementary budget. Source: rbb

Square in Kreuzberg to be named after left wing musician

The musician Rio Reiser (“König von Deutschland”, “Alles Lüge”), who died almost 26 years ago, will have a square named after him in the heart of SO 36, as the district is also called by many after the old postal delivery area 1000 Berlin 36. The plans of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg´s office were published in the official gazette in April last year. The decision was controversial, for example because the notoriously male-heavy list of streets and squares is already short of women’s names. The district also expects Minister of Culture Claudia Roth (Greens) to attend the inauguration ceremony on 21 August. Source:



Gas shortage and planned protests

In July, the AfD parliamentary group leader in the House of Representatives, Kristin Brinker, already demanded “direct aid for electricity and heating costs for citizens”. It is certainly not an easy time. After two years of COVID-19, other issues such as Ukraine, inflation, among others, could be taken up in protests in autumn at the latest “especially from the right-wing extremist and Reichsbürger scene”. Recent surveys by the Insa polling institute made it clear the energy issue could tempt even more people to protest. The far-right “Free Saxons” are already calling for a “wave of energy protests” in the Free State. Source: Berliner Zeitung

Lower Saxony: coal returning to electricity market?

The first reserve coal-fired power plant in Germany has returned to the electricity market. It is the Mehrum power plant in Hohenhameln (Peine district) in Lower Saxony, between Hanover and Braunschweig, which belongs to the Czech energy company EPH. It is the only “market return” of a power plant that has been reported to the Federal Network Agency so far. According to the operator, the Mehrum power plant has been in reserve since the beginning of December 2021. The power plant has been back on the grid since Sunday noon, and it will now be in operation for at least 14 days to stabilise the grid. Source: jW

Lufthansa pilots ready to strike

A strike by pilots at Germany’s largest airline is moving another step closer. Just recently, ground staff paralysed Lufthansa for a whole day. In a ballot, the voting members of the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots’ union voted in favour of industrial action with a very clear majority: 97.6 per cent of Lufthansa pilots and 99.3 per cent of Lufthansa Cargo pilots voted in favour of industrial action, as a union spokesman explained. According to the union, the turnout was over 93 per cent in both flight operations. However, no motion for strike action has been filed, so far. Source: DW

Important medicines are missing in Germany

The Arcaden pharmacy in a shopping centre in Berlin is busy as usual, but some of its medicines are not available. This is not an isolated case: the supply bottlenecks affect the whole of Germany. The Federal Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers mentions that, beyond this, other explanations are given such as “delivery delays by various active ingredient manufacturers”. Probably the most important reason, however, is a financial one. Some medicines, such as painkillers for children, are not profitable enough. But other drugs, as the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, were not available at the beginning of the year. According to the industry, this was also because of its costs. Source: DW

Dream of violent overthrow

Marvin E., who is being led in handcuffs into Room II of the court building in Frankfurt am Main on Tuesday, is a linnet. Small, inconspicuous, and looking much younger than the 20-year-old he is. But he is alleged to have been willing to murder to spark a “race and civil war” for “white supremacy” in the world. This is what the indictment says. The man, who was still running on the list of the local CDU in the Hessian local elections in spring 2021, built at least 15 large explosive devices, intended to use them for attacks in line with the DWS ideology. Source: nd

Left wing Internet platform cleared of accusations of criminality

The public prosecutor office in Karlsruhe has dropped preliminary proceedings for the formation of a criminal organisation against alleged operators of the internet platform “Indymedia linksunten”. According to a post by Antifa Freiburg, the decision was made last week due to lack of evidence. To justify the classification of the platform as a criminal organization, the Federal Ministry of the Interior insinuated in 2017 that the independent internet platform was pursuing purposes contrary to criminal law and was therefore anti-constitutional. This was shortly before the federal election and after the protests against the Hamburg G20 summit. Source: jW

Tags: ,