News from Berlin and Germany, 8th September 2022

Weekly news round-up from Berlin and Germany




SPD blocks haven for refugees

Although Franziska Giffey (SPD), the mayor of Berlin, welcomed 108 Syrians in Berlin in June through the state reception programme for people in need of special protection from Lebanon, reality show her party excuses itself and uses delaying tactics. For example, the SPD-led interior administration has refused since July to implement the increase in the state’s Lebanon admission programme from 100 places per year to 500, as agreed in the coalition agreement. Source: taz

Lieferando tries to sack people who set up a union

The Berlin branch of the food delivery service Lieferando has only had an elected workers’ representation for 25 days – and already it is being threatened with being broken up. As Sebastian Riesner from the Berlin-Brandenburg branch of the Food, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union (NGG) confirmed, the company has initiated dismissal proceedings against 14 of the 17 committee members. The management’s accusation is those affected had fraudulently wasted paid working time in their function as election committee members in the preparation of the works council election. Martin Bechert, a labour lawyer representing the Lieferando works council, says that Lieferando has used “criminal methods”. Source: jW

Breakthrough in case examining arson against Ferat Kocak

Only two of 70 alleged right-wing extremist attacks in Neukölln are blamed on ex AfD member Tilo P. (39) and his alleged accomplice. For the rest, there was not enough evidence. This means that a new statement by the ex-girlfriend of Tilo’s btoher can be devastating. The neo-Nazi allegedly committed an arson attack on the car of left-wing politician Ferat Kocak four years ago. According to the report, the 47-year-old from northern Germany accuses Tilo P. of having carried out the attack. Even worse: In an overheard conversation, P. also announced that he wanted to murder the public prosecutor in charge. Source: bz




We need now a €0 ticket!

The €9 ticket “experiment” has proved to be a huge achievement. The only people who were surprised by this success, apparently, were the managers of public transport companies. This is what happens when millionaires oversee the transport system. After this summer, we know we need more vehicles, more routes, and better conditions for workers. We need a €0 ticket. The S-Bahn is a basic need for everyone, just like a sidewalk or a park, and shouldn’t require a ticket. I’m confident that not a single working-class person would vote for the expensive chaos we have today. Source: ExBerliner

New initiative will cover your public transport fines if you pay €9 a month

Due to high demand, politicians are discussing a successor solution to relieve citizens in the energy crisis and give them cheap access to public transport. While several proposals have been made for a nationwide ticket between 9 and 69 euros, some federal states and transport associations already have successors. Meanwhile, until the government comes to an agreement, a private initiative has launched a temporary solution: at you can pay nine euros per month (or more if you wish) into a fund and if you are then caught fare evasion, the “increased transport fee” is paid from the fund. Source: Deutschland Funkkultur

Massive jump in gas prices

The last pause in Russian gas deliveries has caused the price of gas to shoot up. The price of the TTF futures contract (considered a benchmark for the European price level) for Dutch natural gas climbed by about 72.5 euros to 281 euros per megawatt hour at the last count. It is the fear of a severe recession caused by energy shortages and high energy prices that is worrying investors. In such a situation, investors shy away from the risk of investing in the euro, as a recession would further weaken the common currency. Source: Tagesschau

How prepared is Germany for the impending gas shortage?

People keep talking about how quickly the various gas storage facilities in Germany are filling up. The first 85 percent mark was already exceeded at the beginning of September. Nevertheless, this is roughly only about two winter months’ consumption. Beyond that, other challenges come up: for instance, for many households it will be a blind flight until the heating bill arrives. Although economists still consider it unlikely that Germany will really run out of gas in winter, gas-intensive industries such as glass production, which are based in states such as Bavaria, Thuringia and Saxony, are expected to face more challenges. Source: rbb

Germany starts to run out of water

Water is a scarce commodity, and its value has multiplied lately as well as the competition for it. Although Germany has always been considered a country rich in water, climate change makes summers hotter – and drier. As a result, wetlands are drying out, and forests are burning. Rivers fail as traffic arteries because they do not carry enough water for shipping. And just as groundwater levels are sinking, there is growing concern about the water of tomorrow. Water conflicts between cities and their surrounding areas, as well as with industries, already happen – and they tend to further escalate. Source: dw


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