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  • Daily Berlin news update: Friday, November 6


Daily Berlin news update: Friday, November 6

Lockdown legal battles multiply, Berlin avoids bankruptcy wave, police raid flat of officer linked to extremist posts, and new crackdown on traffic offences.

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Lockdown legal challenges increase, Berlin avoids mass business closures, flat raided in police extremism investigation

Almost 80 legal challenges have been launched against the new Corona restrictions so far, the DPA reported yesterday. The Berlin Administrative Court is processing the claims, which come largely from restaurant and bar owners, though a fitness studio and the Schlosspark-Theater have also mounted legal bids to stop the lockdown. It remains unclear when the court will make a ruling on the cases.

Business closures rose again in October, latest figures show, though the wave of insolvencies predicted as a result of the pandemic has yet to materialise. According to DPA sources 309 insolvency applications were received by Charlottenburg’s district court in October, 57 more than in September but 82 fewer than in October 2019. The numbers suggest the German government’s ongoing efforts to prop up struggling businesses with emergency cash is having an impact. 

This morning the flat of a police officer linked to a group accused of exchanging right-wing extremist content was searched. Officers took evidence from the home of the man, who is thought to be one of a group of young trainee officers accused of sharing the material via Whatsapp. A total of 40 disciplinary proceedings have been launched against the officers so far, with six students of the city’s police academy having been expelled.

Airline woes deepen, police step up driver checks, clubs protest lack of support

Berlin’s air travel industry remains in free-fall even as BER opens its doors. In October, just 581,322 passengers travelled through Tegel and Schoenefeld airports, down 82 percent on the same period in 2019, according to figures released by airport bosses yesterday. Following a small recovery during the holiday season, air travel dropped 16 percent between September and October as travellers stayed at home. While the opening of the new hub greatly increases the city’s airport capacity, it is unlikely to mean a surge in passenger numbers given the deepening pandemic.

Berlin police are launching a new clampdown on rogue drivers with increased enforcement of road traffic offences, the force announced today. Starting on Monday officers will be out monitoring the roads and issuing penalties for those who exceed the speed limit, use their phone at the wheel or park on bus or cycle lanes. The renewed effort follows a similar sweep in the summer which saw over 4000 drivers caught for various infringements.

Members of Berlin’s club scene are to come together this Saturday to protest the government’s lack of financial support for the sector during the lockdown. Under the banner “Save the Techno Clubs”, various groups from the city’s techno institutions are set to join the rally near Jannowitzbrücke to demand more permanent monthly aid for the ailing nightlife sector.