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  • Daily Berlin news update: Friday, September 18


Daily Berlin news update: Friday, September 18

Numerous protests planned for the weekend, €215 million boost for Berlin hospitals, Autobahn closed by bike rally, and more cash for the cultural sector. Also today: professor’s gadget promises to save restaurants.

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Roads set to close for weekend of protests, €215 million boost for Berlin hospitals, bike demonstration closes Autobahn 

Streets across the city are set to come to a standstill this weekend as people gather for numerous demonstrations. The largest protest is set to be Saturday’s so-called “March for Life” anti-abortion demonstration, with 5000 participants set to walk from Brandenburg Gate to the Straße des 17. Juni. More than 2000 people are set to gather for a counter-demonstration. Also on Saturday is a demonstration calling for the introduction of a universal basic income. The gathering begins at noon on Alexanderplatz before heading to Friedrichshain’s Oberbaumbrücke. On Sunday a gathering of refugee rights groups including Pro Asyl and Seebrücke will march from Wittenbergplatz in Schöneberg to Großer Stern in Tiergarten, with 3000 people set to take part. 

Berlin’s hospitals will receive a cash boost of €215 million from the government, it was announced this week. Of the total, €150 million will come from the new federal Krankenhaus-Zukunftsgesetz (Future Hospital Law) with the remainder of the funding coming from the state government, according to Marc Schreiner from the Berlin Hospital Association. The cash is set to be spent on digital infrastructure and investments in emergency capacity.

A stretch of Berlin’s Autobahn was forced to close today after protestors took their bikes on the motorway for a “Fridays for Future” demonstration. The Avus stretch of the A115 between Zehlendorf and Funkturm was closed to cars for much of the day due to the two-wheeled protest, which ran through large parts of the city. The demonstration, co-organised with union Verdi, sought to draw attention to the climate crisis and low-pay in the public transport sector. 

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Berlin’s restaurants could be helped in winter by a professor’s innovative idea. Photo: Christian Lue / Unsplash

More Covid cash for culture, professor’s gadget set to save restaurants, Mitte Späti forced to remove seating 

Berlin’s cultural institutions will receive further government subsidies to help them survive the Corona crisis, Culture Senator Klaus Lederer has indicated. Speaking to the House of Representatives, Lederer said additional funding would be needed for the sector in 2021 given the huge impact of Covid-19. “Economically, the pandemic has hit culture harder than almost any other area of society [and is a] heavy burden for the city’s cultural landscape,” he said.

A Berlin professor wants to save the Berlin gastro industry from Covid-19  – with a €970 air filtration machine. Günter Faltin says his device will filter almost all aerosols from the air in closed rooms, acting as a “virus catcher” in spaces of up to 35 square meters. The machine has yet to be tested and approved, but if shown to work it could provide a lifeline to bars and restaurants looking to maintain safe indoor environments throughout winter.

An administrative court has ordered a Späti in Mitte to stop putting out tables and chairs. According to the judgement which was announced today, the kiosk was responsible for excessive noise pollution. The decision followed a lawsuit launched by the owner of the shop against the local authorities in Mitte, which had declined to give him permission to set up a terrace in front of his store. According to the court’s final ruling, the shop’s continued use of the pavement would cause “noise disturbance for the neighbourhood.”