• Politics
  • The EXB news briefing: July 19, 2018


The EXB news briefing: July 19, 2018

In the German papers this week: Vexing and perplexing news stories from Berlin and beyond...

Image for The EXB news briefing: July 19, 2018
Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J30400 / CC-BY-SA 3.0
A weekly round-up of news stories that piqued our interest or made us scratch our heads. This week: On top of the world and no fuss If you want something done you’ve got to do it yourself – even Angela Merkel is on board with that. Star hairdresser Udo Walz told Gala yesterday that Merkel calls his salon personally and makes the appointment herself.  Hot real estate alert It was revealed yesterday that Berlin authorities seized 77 properties from a notable (and unnamed) Berlin crime family. The R. Family have been linked to a number of burglaries, including the theft of a 100-pound gold coin from the Berlin Bode Museum last year and the €10 million robbery of a Sparkasse in Mariendorf. Seventy-seven properties is a lot of real estate. Could we see the housing crisis alleviated by this one? Don’t jump in While Berlin is famed for its many swimming holes, there are some that you should avoid. According to a report reported on yesterday by LAGeSo (The State Office for Health and Social Affairs Berlin) Flughafensee, Freibad Halensee and Lieper Bucht contain traces of bacterium Escherichia coli and intestinal enterococci. Causing nasty diseases in the intestine and stomach, maybe take a bath instead. Look who’s back The neo-Nazi party NPD (National Democratic Party of Germany)  posted a video from the S-Bahn calling for a nationwide civil defense force. The video, which was posted in June, but picked up the media on Tuesday, claims that the country can no longer protect its citizens from migrants. Both the police and DB, who have their own 750-strong security force in Berlin, have firmly condemned the actions. There’s more to watch out for now than just the ticket controllers. “Not all gays…” No CSD for you! The youth wing of AfD complained after their application for a stall at Christopher Street Day was rejected. Their leader David Eckert posted a lengthy tirade on Facebook last Friday after receiving a rejection email calling the the AfD out for creating a “climate of fear and exclusion”. He claims to be representing the 12 percents of gay people in Berlin that support the AfD, stating that: “Not every gay person wears vinyl and leather, struts around with a handbag and paints their nails.” Going up According to a study by immowelt.de, the price of an apartment in Berlin has risen by 129 percent in the past 10 years. The average price of a flat was €1620 per square metre back in 2008; now the same place will set you back €3710 per square metre. It could be worse: the average Munich flat has risen 141 percent in the same time, now costing around €7070 euros psm! Looks like you’ll be living in a WG forever (unless you nab one of those gangster houses). One more day Berlin Mayor Michael Müller proposed on Monday a tenth public holiday for the city. While the date has yet to be set, he proposes March 18 to honour the hundreds of people who were killed on the barricades revolting against the Prussian monarchy. No matter the date, this is welcome news to Berliners. They have the least holidays of any public state, with four less than the Bavarians (13) in the south. What would their Prussian forefathers think?! Kein-kiffen cops While the police in Berlin won’t prosecute you for carrying under 15 grams of cannabis on your person, the court ruled on Monday that weed smokers will be rejected from entering the force itself. This came after a 40-year-old applicant was rejected from entering the force for having traces of THC carboxylic acid in his bloodstream. He took legal action to overturn this decision but the Administrative Court of Berlin ruled that the influence of cannabis would affect an officer’s ability to work to his full capacity, such as driving a car.