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News from Germany and Berlin: 3 October, 2020


AfD sacks former spokesman for saying migrants 'could be gassed'

Christian Lüth, former spokesman for AfD is alleged to have said that Germany should take in more migrants, as it would be "better" for the party. Reporters from Germany's Zeit newspaper also claim that Lüth spoke of "shooting" and "gassing" migrants last February in a Berlin bar. The co-leader of the party, Alexander Gauland, said that such comments “are totally unacceptable and incompatible with the aims and policies of the AfD." Documentary maker Thilo Mischke ("[Far]-Right, German, Radical", where Lüth´s opinions are shown) described the far-right scene in Germany as a "very dangerous" group that gradually merges into the society. Source: DW

Wirecard outrage in German politics

The Wirecard scandal has exposed Germany’s financial regulation. Why was BaFin, the country´s markets watchdog, reluctant to investigate after negative numbers were generated for months? It is not only the finance ministry which has come under scrutiny, though. On September 3 last year Ms. Merkel received a visit from Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. Forced to resign in 2011, he works for an advisory firm, and one of its clients was Wirecard. A couple of days later, she flew off to China, and there spoke about Wirecard and a planning acquisition. At the time, the company was a “Dax 30 company.” Now, some speak of the need of a reform on lobbying and on BaFin´s performance. Source: ft

Left-wing politicians call on Lafontaine to resign

Oskar Lafontaine (die Linke) has been confronted with demands for resignation from his own party. The reason is a joint appearance with Thilo Sarrazin. Members of the Left Party demand Lafontaine’s resignation in Saarland. The reason given is that Sarrazin is "a racist known throughout the country (…) and a radical right-wing icon.” Lafontaine appeared in Munich on Monday evening together with Peter Gauweiler (CSU) and former Berlin Senator of Finance Thilo Sarrazin to talk about Sarrazin's new book. His bestseller "Germany abolishes itself" (2010) is considered one of the milestones in the establishment of the new right in Germany. Source: Spiegel


Information without value

The final report of the Special Organizational Unit (BAO) "Fokus", which has been investigating the series of right-wing extremist attacks in Neukölln since May 2019, has more than 100 pages. Nevertheless, there is no conclusion. For years neo-Nazis have been terrorizing anti-fascists in Neukölln, with 72 crimes counted by the police, including 23 arsons. The final report states there is no sound evidence of a right-wing network within the police force. Niklas Schrader (die Linke), is convinced "the police cannot clear up certain suspicions that are in the air, such as right-wing networks or data leaks." Source: nd

Berlin makes masks compulsory in offices and to set stricter conditions for celebrations

In Berlin, rising infection figures have alarmed politicians. Now the Senate is tightening the reins again somewhat. The ordinances are effective as of Saturday. It will be compulsory to wear masks in office and administrative buildings in Berlin. The regulation will not apply when working at desks. For private celebrations in Berlin, the upper limit for participants will be 25 people inside and 50 outside. In addition, there will be an obligation to keep a contact tracking list from a limit of ten people. Source: Berliner Zeitung

The sale of apartments in Berlin goes on

A draft from the Minister of the Interior, Building and Community (Horst Seehofer/CSU) comes up, with no mention to a ban conversion (from rental apartments into condominiums). Without such a prohibition, displacement gets sharper in Berlin. Cansel Kiziltepe (SPD) and the Berlin Tenants' Association (BMV) are outraged. The Association considers that "The deletion of the ban conversion from the draft to the building land mobilization law is fatal for the tenant protection and undermines the results of the living summit of the Kanzlerin from September 2018.” Source: Berliner Zeitung

Racist chat group in the Berlin police uncovered

Muslims compared to monkeys and refugees, to rapists or rats. However, the anti-Semitic assassin of Halle was seen as having nothing to do with the “right-wing,”. These are excerpts from the internal chat of a service group of the Berlin police, with more than 25 police officers. Seven officials in particular made racist remarks, often in the form of supposed jokes. They often receive approval for this from their colleagues. The chat was denounced by Berlin police officers. Because they fear consequences for their work, they want to remain anonymous. They have complained about widespread racism among their colleagues. Source: Tagesschau

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