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News from Germany and Berlin: 26 September, 2020

Chaos at the German meat companies

The raids by the police on suspected smuggling of foreigners working in the meat industry certainly shows one thing: the Bundestag must pass the bill against exploitation in the industry quickly. Parts of that industry have long been known for illicit and opaque structures. For example, non-EU citizens were given forged Romanian passports so that they could work in Germany. And it is not clear for whom the employees of the industry are working now that most slaughterhouses do not employ them directly. It is incomprehensible therefore that some CDU and CSU members are trying to prevent the ban planned by the SPD Labour Minister Heil on temporary work - not just contracts for work - in the large slaughterhouses. Source: taz


We will be in traffic jams with electric cars.”

After six months of Corona-induced hibernation, the climate kids from Fridays finally came back on September 25, at the Brandenburger Tor. Clara Mayer, one of the leaders, talks about acknowledgements as well as rape and death threats. She laments that many people cannot see how climate crises and the pandemic are fundamentally linked. The activist says that the bailout package could have done more and realizes it is necessary to target centres of carbon emissions. Regarding e-cars, she believes it will be difficult to abandon them completely in the countryside. Finally, she considers that a strategy for the environment must be comprehensive. Source: ExBerliner

An end to male dominance

Berlin is far from parity between men and women in parliament. To remedy this, Red-Red-Green has been planning a parity law. The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) has published a study on the subject, and its result points out clearly the feasibility and necessity of an equal amendment of the Berlin electoral law. According to the study, direct mandates tend to go to men rather than women. This is partly because they must be self-financed. Parity laws struggle to from their draft phase into enforcement. Besides, not just women are under-represented, but groups such as those with disabilities or different social origins. Source: nd

What the Scandinavians are up to - and how Berlin is reacting

The Swedish group Heimstaden Bostad plans to buy almost 4,000 apartments in Berlin. However, with the coming rent cap, this investment could not be profitable from an investor's perspective. The Swedish company’s investment might actually show something else. In an interview, town councillor Florian Schmidt believes that once the deadline of rent cap expires in approximately five years, buying real estate can be lucrative after all. Nevertheless, there might be a chance that districts will exercise their right of refusal. The question that remains therefore would be: could Helmstaden also be expropriated, as a petition for a referendum demands? Source: tagesspiegel

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