News from Berlin and Germany, 4th October 2023

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



The 29-euro ticket to return in 2024

The 29-euro ticket is coming back to Berlin. In 2024 passengers in the capital will once again be able to use buses, trains and trams as often as they want for just under 30 euros a month, as the supervisory board of the Berlin-Brandenburg Transport Association (VBB) announced last Thursday. As before, however, the ticket is only valid for the AB fare zone. The Berlin Senate has not succeeded in reaching a more far-reaching agreement with neighbouring Brandenburg. The Supervisory Board also extended the social ticket: Berliners who receive social benefits will continue to pay nine euros per month for this subscription. Source:

Environmental concerns at the Brandenburg Tesla factory

When Tesla built its Giga factory in Grünheide, Brandenburg, more than a year ago, opinions were mixed. Was this a daring move towards an environmentally friendly future of green vehicle manufacturing, or an ill-thought-out project from an entrepreneur with a poor record of adhering to safety regulations? The latest news suggests the latter, with Tesla reporting 26 environmental accidents at the German plant since work began. According the Tagespiegel, separate events have seen the leak of 15,000 litres of paint and 13 tons of aluminium being spilled, among others. Source: Exberliner

Lights in public buildings in Berlin to remain off

Since summer 2022, many public buildings in Berlin have remained in the dark due to energy-saving measures. In fact, up to 40,000 euros could be saved in a single year. The measure is to continue for at least another year. The Senate already decided this last March and it has now reaffirmed, the continuation until September 2024. The buildings that will continue to be illuminated are those with protocol obligations, such as the City Hall, or objects with a hazard classification (for instance, the Jewish Museum and the New Synagogue). Source: rbb



German reunification: “completed, but not perfect”

The 3rd of October saw the 33rd aniversary of the reunification of East and West Germany. The Minister of State for East Germany, Carsten Schneider, praised the economic upturn in the former East in a DW interview. Schneider also highlighted pension levels were adjusted to be equal across Germany in 2023. On the other hand, challenges such as the downward trend of the number of people of working age in East Germany in decades to come, together with the feeling many eastern Germans have of being deceived in the reunification process, show that there are still things to do. “Reunification is completed, even if it is not perfect,” concluded Schneider, considering the 33-year-old reunification needs to be fully realised in people’s minds. Source: dw

Harshest sentences for “Last Generation”: activists sent to prison

The Heilbronn District Court sentenced two men and one woman to prison terms of five, four and three months without probation. According to the public prosecutor’s office and activists, the sentence is the harshest so far imposed on members of the “Last Generation” in Germany. The sentence is not yet legally binding. The activists stated in the trial that they had wanted to draw attention to what they saw as inadequate measures to combat climate change with the protest action. Meanwhile, an activist from the “Last Generation” in Berlin was able to successfully defend herself, winning an appeal in the administrative court. Source: merkur

Latest employment figures: “autumn revival” weaker

The number of unemployed in Germany fell slightly in September compared to August. The rate fell by 0.1 percentage points to 5.7 per cent, as the Federal Employment Agency (BA) announced last Friday. Compared to the previous year, BA counted 141,000 more unemployed. “The incipient autumn revival turns out to be comparatively small this year,” BA board member Daniel Terzenbach said when presenting the figures. “Unemployment and underemployment are decreasing, but less than usual in a September.” In the past three years, the number of unemployed had fallen by an average of about 95,000 in September. Basically, however, the German labour market remains stable, Terzenbach said. Source: ndr

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