News from Berlin and Germany, 6th September 2023

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany



Antimilitarism and antifascism belong together

“Class struggle instead of war and rearmament” reads the large banner in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Those holding the banner are part of the demonstration against war and rearmament, where around 700 people gathered in Berlin last Saturday. Many young people are among the demonstrators, including a group from the communist organisation Rote Wende Leipzig. “We take part in anti-militarist actions because the fight against war and militarism is of central importance to our work,” explains one of the Leipzig activists. Anti-militarists have also come from Oberhausen in North Rhine-Westphalia. The party Die Linke and the Solid Left Youth are also clearly represented at the demonstration with flags and banners. Source: nd-aktuell

Last Generation: Berlin police want to intervene faster

“Arrogant hubris”. Burkard Dregger (CDU), chose severe words against the members of the Last Generation, calling for a harsh treatment of climate activists last Monday. His wish could come true. After the group announced they would “paralyze” Berlin in September, October and November, the interior administration presented their proposed counter-measures to the Berlin Senate. Vasili Franco (Greens), feared disproportionate action against the blockers. He also spoke out against the so-called ‘pain grips’, saying these violent tactics cannot be justified and should neither be used nor taught. He referred to a 2005 publication of teaching materials by the Berlin police themselves. Source: nd-aktuell



27 climate activists in Bavaria arrested preventively

According to the group “Last Generation”, Bavarian authorities have jailed a total of 27 supporters of the group without trial or judgement. This means that the number of activists in “preventive detention” has almost doubled. They are in the prisons of Stadelheim and Memmingen and many of them were apparently taken into custody in connection with the International Motor Show IAA, which is scheduled to take place in Munich from 5 to 10 September. The Munich police confirmed that ten of them were taken into custody during a raid on Friday. Source: Zeit

CDU leader Merz wants to facilitate deportations from Germany

The number of asylum applications in Germany has risen sharply this year. CDU leader Friedrich Merz wants to counteract this with faster deportations. To do so, Merz has said that more countries should be declared “safe countries of origin”, thus allowing for more deportations. “The fundamental right to asylum has limits when it comes to considering valid reasons for asylum,” he said. “Moldova, Georgia, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and India are countries of origin with recognition rates in the thousands. These countries must be recognized as safe countries of origin so that we can immediately return them [asylum seekers].” he added. Source: dw

Germany calls for 3-year, nationwide rent freeze

The German government is proposing to bring in a three-year, nationwide rent freeze, in the hope it will help to control the country’s housing crisis. Landlords would still be allowed to raise rents, but there would be stricter rules about the hikes. “We need a rent cap for the next three years,” deputy parliamentary group leader for the SPD Verena Hubertz said in an interview published by the magazine “das Bild”. Under such new rules, landlords could raise rents by a maximum of around 6 percent over a three-year period and indexed rental contracts, where rental costs can fluctuate depending on inflation rates, would be made illegal. Source: iamexpat

Three million unemployed: The “hidden reserve”

In these times of a shortage of skilled workers, unemployed and well qualified people, who would like to work, have come into focus. Indeed, three million unemployed people in Germany want paid work. However, these people between the ages of 15 and 74 are not available for the labour market for a variety of reasons, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office. This group of people is referred to as the “hidden reserve.” For example, some are not available for work at short notice due to having to do care work for relatives. A great part of such reserve is represented by women, with a share estimated at about 57 percent. Source: tagesschau

Söder stands by Deputy Aiwanger

At a press conference scheduled at short notice in Munich last Sunday, Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) said he had thoroughly examined and weighed up the allegations made against Hubert Aiwanger (“Free Voters”), and concluded that a dismissal from office would not be proportionate. Some days ago, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” first reported that Aiwanger had written an anti-Semitic leaflet during his time at school, citing anonymous witnesses. Nevertheless, the Bavarian Prime Minister criticised the crisis management of his deputy. Aiwanger should have clarified the allegations earlier, more decisively and more comprehensively, Söder said. A new state parliament will be elected in Bavaria on October 8th. Source: dw

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