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  • The EXB news briefing: November 22, 2018

Politics

The EXB news briefing: November 22, 2018

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

Image for The EXB news briefing: November 22, 2018 A weekly round-up of news stories that piqued our interest or made us scratch our heads. BVG says nay, yay, nay again After a long back and forth, the BVG had finally agreed to keep U-Bahn stations open to homeless people in winter, but haven’t gotten it together to actually do so. From Wednesday on, Moritzplatz (Kreuzberg) and Lichtenberg were supposed to stay open, but weren’t, despite temperatures dropping and the first snow falling. Both stations are still lacking mobile toilets and social workers. By the next snowfall, social workers are probably the last thing on homeless people’s minds. The (Holzmarkt) village people sue If you’re a faithful follower of Exberliner, you may remember back in 2012, we reported on the former Bar25 collective’s (renamed by the Holzmarkt) ambitions to open a “creative village” along the Spree (you’re forgiven if you don’t). But guess what? Six years later still nothing’s happened, so the cooperative is suing the city to the tune of €19 million over loss of investors in that period. Rigaer riots It’s been a rowdy November so far for Friedrichshain’s Rigaer Straße. On Thursday, the police showed raided four houses (even with a helicopter) of allegedly left-wing extremists’ – read about it in last week’s news briefing! But this Tuesday, they were back to investigate a burning pile of thrash and a vandalism report. To sum it up, five police visits within one week’s time: something’s going on at Rigaer Straße… Berlin crimewatch As of Tuesday, you can look up the exact number and nature of crimes in your neighbourhood in the Kriminalitätsatlas Berlin, published by the city. The map indicates total numbers of crimes committed, as well as the amount per 100.000 inhabitants in a neighbourhood – making it easy to compare districts. The most dangerous area? Mitte! But hey, we knew that already. Happy returns? A new poster campaign by the German home office has been widely criticised as tasteless and cynical. Addressing refugees whose applications for asylum have been rejected, it says “Your country! Your future! Now!”, and promises that up to 12 months rent will be covered for anyone moving back to their country of origin before the new year. As Green politician Konstantin von Notz commented in Morgenpost on Monday, the offer sounds like a “winter sales campaign”. Merry Christmas and joy to the world everyone!