News from Berlin and Germany: 4th September 2021

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany


compiled by Ana Ferreira



Neo-Nazis soon to stand trial

The two main suspects in the right-wing extremist attack series in Berlin-Neukölln are likely to stand trial soon. They have been charged by the public prosecutor’s office with aggravated arson, damage to property and threats. According to the indictment, the two men allegedly committed the arson attacks on the car of a bookseller and the car of a left-wing local politician on 1 February 2018. The accusation is based on several pieces of circumstantial evidence. The victims were quite active against right-wing extremism. Crimes like arson attacks on cars are very difficult to solve because there are often neither witnesses nor traces. Source: taz

SPD prefer concrete to the environment

Berlin’s building code – for two years, the Social Democrats, the Left Party and the Greens have been working on an amendment to the regulations. The new building code would present, for instance, greener roofs and facades. On Monday, however, the SPD representative Iris Spranger informed the Greens and the Left the talks were over. This means it is the end of the red-red-green coalition. Not only until election night, but beyond. Because the CDU and FDP seem to be better at the grey concrete. Now the gardens of grey seem to be back in vogue, thanks to Franziska Giffey. Source: taz

Socialisers under attack

The accusations of alleged sexual harassment against an activist of the initiative Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen have now become public and the subsequent internal handling of the matter hold considerable explosive potential for the cause. While for some it is clear that in the case of allegations of sexual assault, the victim must first be fully believed, others consider it customary to first demand proof and also to let the alleged perpetrator describe his or her view of things. Two incompatible approaches. In this case, the feminist approach clearly prevailed. Source: nd



Bundeswehr colonel leaves the AfD

Uwe Junge is leaving the party, citing its radicalisation as the reason. Among those radicals, he means the candidates for the Bundestag elections, Alice Weidel and Tino Chrupalla. But he himself is anything but moderate, having been side by side for instance with Pegida founder Lutz Bachmann, as well as many neo-Nazis at a demo in Chemnitz in September 2018. In the meantime, the first reactions have come from the AfD: candidate Tino Chrupalla wrote on Twitter: “I thank Mr Junge for his work in building up the party. All the best in your political retirement! Source: taz

GDL announces five-day passenger rail strike

The train drivers’ union GDL has announced new strikes in the wage dispute with Deutsche Bahn. The third strike within a few weeks will also be the longest so far in the current wage dispute. The strikes are to end on Tuesday next week at 02:00 in the morning. GDL leader Claus Weselsky said he was sorry for the rail passengers, but that the “unteachable railway board” was responsible. S-Bahn and regional services will also be likely “massively” affected. It is not yet clear to what extent these areas will also be affected by the third strike. Source: rbb

Mobile data in Germany costs more than the European average

The Federation of German Consumer Organisations has made a comparison of the costs of mobile data across Europe and found out internet is cheaper in not only countries like Estonia, Romania, and Poland, but also in neighbouring countries such as France and Italy. Just to compare, a gigabyte of mobile data cost an average of 3.35 euros in Germany in 2019, while in France it was something like 3.18 euros. In Poland, it cost the average of 0.83 euros. The Federation advocated measures against high costs. Source: iamexpat

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