News from Berlin and Germany, 7 April 2022

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



Nine-Euro Ticket for BVG and S-Bahn to come on the 1st of May

It looks like, the Nine-Euro Ticket will become reality from the 1st of May on. The federal government is confident. However, in Berlin and Brandenburg people are skeptical whether it will work so soon. In 2023, fares could even rise. The cheap ticket is part of the relief package due to the high energy prices. For three months, monthly tickets for public transport everywhere in Germany are to cost only nine euros, and a working group of the Association of German Transport Companies is working at full speed on possible concepts. “But there is nothing concrete yet,” it was said in Berlin. Source: Berliner Zeitung.

“Enough!” Board woman from tenant scene resigns

A scandal at Wohnraumversorgung Berlin (WVB), which has been campaigning for a stronger social orientation of the state-owned housing companies since 2016. WVB board member Ulrike Hamann announced her resignation on Thursday. “Enough is enough! I am resigning as a board member of WVB.” “What I have been experiencing for over a year in my function as a board member of Wohnraumversorgung Berlin is not what the rent referendum was organised for, i.e, to secure social housing sustainably in Berlin, to win the right to the city for all and to stop the displacement of the poor from the inner city,” Hamann states. Source: Berliner Zeitung.

Berlin: More pro-Russia motorcades planned

Last Sunday, a pro-Russian motorcade with 900 participants drove through Berlin. The banned “Z” symbol was also visible. Politicians warn against further actions. The Senate fears there will be further actions by Russian nationalists on the “Day of Liberation”, on the 8th and the 9th of May. The Putin-affiliated motorbike club “Nachtwölfe” has not yet registered a demonstration. Franziska Giffey (SPD) said the action of the last weekend will be prosecuted, wherever under criminal law possible. “We cannot simply ban a registered demonstration under the slogan against discrimination against Russian speakers,” Giffey said. Source: Berliner Zeitung.



First step towards energy boycott

The EU Commission has decided to stop buying coal from Russia. Spread over the whole year, this amounts to a coal volume worth about four billion euros. This is actually the first stage of a comprehensive energy embargo. And it would have a greater impact if Brussels and Berlin were to take this step for oil and gas as well. And yet this decision is a message to Moscow. Brussels and Berlin want to gradually dissolve the dependency they once created themselves. More precise details, such as when and to what extent coal imports from Russia could be stopped, are not yet known. Source: Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Germany expels 40 Russian diplomats because of Bucha

According to the German government, 40 Russian diplomats were declared undesirable. “We have selected 40 people whom we attribute to the Russian secret services,” German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) said. “We have decided that these people must now leave our country as quickly as possible,” she added. The Minister also considered is was “another consistent step against the Russian leadership, which is waging a horrifically brutal war against the Ukrainian civilian population”. The action also targets protecting Germany from lies and war propaganda. “We will not allow this criminal war of aggression to be fought as an information war in Germany,” said finally the SPD politician. Source: Nachrichten De.

Act faster against Nazis

It was just a couple of days ago the office of Left Party member Kati Engel in Eisenach was attacked. And who posed at the shooting booth at a public festival shortly before? Nationwide known neo-Nazis. This is not something unexpected. Anti-fascist research groups and left-wing politicians have long warned fascists want to build a “Nazi neighbourhood” in the city. It is true some of the groups, which were the target of that search have been observed, for example by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. It seems however the security authorities are not an “early warning system” against the right. Source: nd.

Negotiations kick-off against Gorillas

“We are leading this process for the freedom of migrant workers,” said Duygu Kaya. The Turkish-born worker is one of three former employees of the delivery service Gorillas, who have filed an action for protection against dismissal. Last October, Kaya, along with over 300 other colleagues, was dismissed without notice. This was triggered by a spontaneous strike in which the workers criticized the precarious working conditions at Gorillas. But for the 33-year-old, the court case is about much more than just getting her job back: “It is the recognition of fundamental rights that we are talking about here.” Source: nd.



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