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  • The EXB news briefing: May 17, 2018

Politics

The EXB news briefing: May 17, 2018

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

Image for The EXB news briefing: May 17, 2018 A weekly round-up of news stories that piqued our interest or made us scratch our heads. This week:  The ice age is over Goodbye, Eiszeit! The punk-gone-mild Kino on Zeughofstraße will close its doors on Friday. It may have been a husk of its former self after reopening newly renovated in 2016, but cinephiles will be anyways be mourning the loss of a Kreuzberg institution. SPDown The Social Democrats’ downward slide continues, with new polls placing the party at an all-time low: only 18 percent of Berliners who are entitled to vote say that they would choose the party. At the moment, the strongest political force in Berlin is Die Linke, with 22 percent planning to vote for the ex-Commies. Centre-left is seemingly too far to the right here in Berlin. Dirty ol’ Germany For those who always brag to the family back home about Germany’s green reputation, here’s a blow: The Federal Republic has run into trouble with the European Court of Justice because of poor air quality. Along with five other countries – Britain, Italy, France, Hungary and Romania – Germany isn’t doing enough to bring down toxic levels of nitrous oxidein the air to below the maximum allowed by the EU. And yes, this has everything to do with Germany’s love of diesel cars. Go East, my son If you’re one of the teeming masses in need of a flat, your future prospects may well be in… Lichtenberg? Over 15,000 new flats were built in Berlin over the past year, an increase of 14.7 percent compared to 2016. Berlin’s office for statistics shared the figures this morning. Almost a third of those built were owner-occupied flats, while the majority were built in Lichtenberg, followed by Mitte. He’s no longer a skaterboi The much-loved skatepark in Volkspark Friedrichshain has been shut down for safety reasons. However, there are plans to build a new skatepark as part of a sport-and-play area, with new volleyball courts and table tennis. Hopeful skaters will have to content themselves with tokin’ on the green until summer 2019 though. ’68er dies for real in 2018 One of Germany’s leading protesters (and pranksters) of the 1968 student revolt died on Tuesday in Kreuzberg. Dieter Kunzelmann, a friend of Rudi Dutschke and co-founder of the Kommune 1, had been notorious in the 1980s and 1990s for his disruptive actions, including throwing eggs at then-mayor Eberhard Diepgen. He had previously staged his own death. Check out more on 1968 in our May issue, on newsstands now. Uncomfortably numb New statistics have shown that Berlin has the highest number of drug deaths in Germany, with figures remaining fairly constant with previous years. In 2017, 168 people died as a result of drug consumption, compared to 167 in 2016. It’s not party drugs that top the list of lethal overdoses, it’s heroin. Christiane F’s legacy still lingers. Auto Flambe On Sunday night, 14 cars on Kollwitzplatz in Prenzlauer Berg went up in flames. According to the police, three cars were set on fire, with the blaze spreading and damaging the other vehicles. No one was hurt, while two twenty-six year olds were arrested (but later released). Have the Muttis of P’Berg raised hoodlums? Or what it the good ‘ole far left having some fun during Chaostage, an annual meetup of the anarcho-scene. More (anarchist) drinks, please Speaking of anarcho-fun, the “autonomous” pub in Rigaer Straße, Kadterschmiede, will be allowed to stay open, after the judge blocked the landlord’s attempt to shut the place down. The team behind Kadterschmiede have been using the space without a contract since the end of 2013. Is this legally sanctioned anarchy?