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  • The EXB news briefing: September 19, 2019

Berlin

The EXB news briefing: September 19, 2019

In the German papers this week: #AllefürsKlima march, cheaper transport for a day, car fires, Brexit advice from the UK government, and more!

Image for The EXB news briefing: September 19, 2019

A weekly round up of news stories that piqued our interest or made us scratch our heads. This week:

Protests, blockades, and #AllefürsKlima As Greta is visiting the US and shaking hands with Barack Obama, the Berlin division of her Fridays For Future movement is ready to join the global climate strike this week. A mass demonstration is planned starting at the Brandenburg Gate at 12pm and is predicted to attract 10,000 protesters. Eco-movement ‘Extinction Rebellion’ will also be organizing **Klimablockaden** at Potsdamer Platz. So show some environmental solidarity and head out!

Schnäppchen Sonntag! Also in line with global climate protest week and to further exemplify their strong stance for a more ‘car free’ Berlin, the BVG, DB and S-Bahn are reducing public transport costs – for one day only. On Sunday, unlimited inner city travel will cost the same as the usual single fare of €2.80. The initiative harks back to the last ‘car free Sunday’ in Germany during the oil crisis in 1973, let’s hope we don’t have to wait another 50 years for the next one!

False alarm on the U8 A false alarm brought the U8 to a standstill on Tuesday morning, if only for a short while. Commuters travelling around Moritzplatz, Heinrich-Heine-Straße and Kottbusser Tor noticed a strong smell of burning emanating from the tunnels. Within moments, more than 100 firefighters descended on the line, but it was discovered the smell was merely caused by a dragging brake on one of the trains. A few unlucky passengers had to spend some time waiting in the tunnel, but business as usual was quickly resumed.

Yet more car fires! It does seem Berlin’s firefighters are being kept busy. The latest car fire on Thursday night, which burned out an Audi and two cars parked next to it in Wedding, has prompted concerns about the frequency of such crimes. Since January there have been 320 in the city, and just in the last four weeks car fires have been reported in F-Hain, Neukölln, P-Berg and now Wedding. Seems like someone doesn’t have the patience to wait for official car bans.

Countdown to Brexit For Brits who still have their head in the sand about Brexit, the UK government is finally offering some advice on what you need to do before October 31. The new campaign, which is being advertised on social media, embassy websites and posters, offers a list of requirements to work through before departure day as well as information on acquiring residential permits, travel insurance, driving licenses and passports. Nice to get a bit of clarity, even if it is with only one month to go…