• theleftberlin

News from Germany and Berlin: 21 November, 2020

Compiled by Ana Ferreira

NEWS FROM GERMANY

Falling support for Corona restrictions in Brandenburg

A narrow majority of 52 percent in Brandenburg consider the Corona restrictions to be appropriate. In April the figure was still 76 percent. Four out of five Brandenburg residents (79 percent) already expect the November restrictions to be extended into December. Meanwhile, political sentiment remains stable: the SPD would be the strongest force with 26 percent (minus 1 point compared to April). The heads of the opposition factions Christoph Berndt (AfD), Sebastian Walter (die Linke) and Pèter Vida (BVB/FW) are largely unknown to the people of Brandenburg and have low satisfaction ratings (9 per cent each). Source: rbb

Wirecard scandal – Billions lost, no-one prepared to take responsibility

The Wirecard case shows the incompetence of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bafin). Investors and banks have lost at least €25 million. The Bafin did not feel responsible as Wirecard was mainly not a bank, but a financial service provider. In addition, almost 100 employees of the authority gambled with Wirecard shares because the company was expected to be the "German Apple". The Bafin denounced journalists who wanted to expose the scandal. Public prosecutors are working on the case under criminal law, which must be clarified if we are to know whether the state has treated the company with kid gloves. Source: taz


Police use tanks and water cannons to clear protest camp

The police has cleared the occupation in Dannenröder Wald. The overall situation on the ground is becoming increasingly confusing and the police are acting more and more aggressively. The medical team in Dannenröder Wald published a report on police violence on Friday, after two people were seriously injured because of a craniocerebral trauma. For this weekend, the Alliance "Ende Gelände" announced actions of civil disobedience to prevent a continuation of the evictions and clearings. Members of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen have also called for a stop to the clearing at Dannenröder Forest and a suspension of police operations during the Corona lockdown. Source: jW


NEWS FROM BERLIN

Bundestag attacked by AfD guests

The debate in the Bundestag on the Infection Protection Act was overshadowed by disturbances. Troublemakers invited by AfD members harassed parliamentarians. Outside the building, the police broke up a demonstration of several thousand people who appeared without masks and did not keep their distance. The police used water cannons and almost 200 people were arrested. The Bundestag has its own police force and around the Bundestag there is a ban mile. Among those who can visit the area, guests from members of Parliament are allowed to enter – which is exactly what happened on Wednesday. But they are expected to be accompanied at all times, and, of course, behave reasonably. Source: dw

Tesla’s controversial Gigafactory is coming. Not everyone is happy

Tesla’s Gigafactory is being constructed near Autobahn 10. The factory is seen by some as a huge opportunity and others as a great risk. The company has also great expectations: Tesla officials say they plan to have the first stage of the €4 bn project completed by June 2021. At this stage, the plant is expected to produce 500,000 Tesla Model Y vehicles per year. In a region where there has been not much investment since reunification, criticism is still emerging. For most of the dissenters, the project’s environmental impact is the primary issue. Source: ExBerliner


Heimstaden bows to resistance

In the negotiations for extended tenant protection, the Scandinavian group has submitted a comprehensive offer for the residents of almost 80 houses. Its text provides for high contractual penalties for breaches of the offer and includes a termination of the business model practised by the previous owner, which was to offer furnished accommodation for short-term rental. Particularly with regard to the conversion ban, Heimstaden has long shown no willingness to move. For this Friday at 3 pm, tenants have called for a demonstration in front of the Heimstaden office on Kurfürstendamm. Source: nd


Nazi symbols on police uniforms

More and more police officers decorate their uniforms with supposedly humorous "patches". However, these patches often contain right-wing symbolism (for instance, a Spartan helmet). Berlin's police felt compelled to issue a circular letter, pointing out the general inadmissibility of private patches on the uniform and threatening disciplinary measures. Oliver von Dobrowolski ("Polizeigrün") said that the problem with patches indicating a right-wing ideas has recently become "virulent". At best, uniforms should include the words "Polizei," the state or federal badge and, if necessary, name, badge number or function badge. Source: jW