News from Berlin and Germany, 4th January 2024

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Berlin police failure: 10 cases of unaddressed racism

In recent years, Department 533 of the Berlin State Criminal Police Office did not process at least ten cases of bodily harm and grievous bodily harm with a suspected racist background. They are part of 387 cases that the Commissariat for State Security did not pursue from 2018 to 2023. These cover a wide range of simple offenses to serious crimes: arson, coercion, several accusations of incitement, insults, and the use of unconstitutional license plates. The list comes from the Senate’s response to a written question from Left MPs Niklas Schrader and Ferat Koçak, according to the Tagesspiegel. Source: nd-aktuell

Labour market in Berlin almost unchanged, but in Brandenburg more unemployed

While the number of people without a job in Berlin stagnated at the end of 2023, it rose in Brandenburg – albeit seasonally. At the same time, the number of employees subject to social insurance contributions also rose in Berlin. “Berlin continues to see an increase in employment and job registrations,” said Ramona Schröder, head of the Berlin-Brandenburg regional directorate. The demand for labour also remains high. More than 19,700 vacancies were registered in Berlin last month. In Brandenburg, the number of unemployed people rose last December, with 1,650 more than in November. Nevertheless, there were a total of 44,400 vacancies in the region. Source: rbb24


Growing concern about possible AfD election successes

With a view to the upcoming elections in eastern Germany, the former President of the Federal Constitutional Court, Andreas Voßkuhle, warned of the consequences of the AfD making a breakthrough. “The AfD as the strongest parliamentary group in one or more state parliaments would turn Germany’s political landscape upside down.” Next September, the state parliaments in Saxony, Thuringia, and Brandenburg will hold elections. In all of those states, the AfD is by far the strongest party in the polls. European elections will also be held on 9 June and local elections are expected in 9 out of 16 federal states. Source: IslamiQ

Germany’s 2024 economic outlook

The German economy may see a little growth this year, but so far everything is pointing to a lackluster year. German exports will probably not be able to boost the economy enough. Looking back, economists and industry associations have rarely been so unanimous in their views: 2023 was a year of stagnation. It will take some time until the official figures are available, but the German economy likely shrank last year. Among the reasons are rising prices and the sluggish global economy, and the reduced governmental budget for 2024. Source: dw

Germans are falling out of love with online shopping

According to a recent survey by Postbank, the coronavirus-inspired online shopping boom has reached its peak in Germany, with more people going back to physical stores. Of the 3,038 people who took part in the survey, just 26 percent said that they do half of their shopping on the internet, compared to 32 percent in 2022. Companies destroying returns is a major concern holding consumers back from “adding to basket.” “Shopping behaviour is returning to normal after the end of coronavirus restrictions,” said Thomas Brosch, Head of Digital Sales at Postbank. “For younger people, however, online shopping is here to stay.” Source: iamexpat

Tags: ,