• Politics
  • The EXB news briefing: November 1, 2018

Politics

The EXB news briefing: November 1, 2018

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

Image for The EXB news briefing: November 1, 2018 A weekly round-up of news stories that piqued our interest or made us scratch our heads. Mall-functioning? The first day of Friedrichshain’s much bemoaned East Side Mall didn’t exactly go off without a hitch. During the official opening on Wednesday, the mall was evacuated for a short time after a fire alarm falsely went off. On top of that, the main entrance at Warschauerbrücke couldn’t be used due to poor planning. The mall now employs students wearing orange suits and spinning around a big sign at Warschauerstraße to redirect customers to the side entrance. The mall may be bemoaned, but its start seems pretty typical for Berlin – maybe it’ll fit in after all? Spandau Valley It’s been a busy week for Spandau. After the Google campus in Kreuzberg fell through, Spandau district councilman and CDU-politician Frank Bewig wrote the company a letter on Tuesday trying to lure it there. On Wednesday the plans for the Siemens Innovation Campus, which will be located in Spandau, were made official. Is way out west Berlin’s new start-up Walhalla? Refugees welcome It was announced on Tuesday that a new arrival centre for refugees will be built on the grounds of the Karl Bonhoeffer Clinic in Wittenau to welcome and house refugees in their first days in Berlin. Three meals a day, a bed, medical check-ups and more are promised to all refugees arriving there. In turn, the arrival centre at the former Tempelhof Airport shall be closed down. If all goes to plan, the new site will open at the end of 2019. No word on what will be happening with the soon-to-be empty halls of Tempelhof. Party train to Neukölln Will Berlin’s infamous “party line”, the M10, finally be extended from Warschauer Straße to Hermannplatz? The first tracks of the extension were laid in 1994, but only now is the state government getting serious about planning. On November 15, “different variants of the route” will be presented during a public forum for interested citizens. The so-called “party tram” is especially popular in evenings and weekends, as it drops you off in the middle of Friedrichshain’s clubbing district. The project is to be completed by spring 2019. What do you think? Do you want the M10 cutting through Kreuzberg? Let us know in the comments below. Free-riders in decline The BVG successfully decreased the number of Schwarzfahrer over the past 10 years, they say, by increasing the number controls on the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, trams and busses. However, only 40 percent of the people who get caught without a ticket actually pay their fine. Seven million BVG passengers were controlled between January and September of this 2018, compared to five million people last year. Holiday, celebrate We all love our bank holidays. And as if nine official Berlin Feiertage a year weren’t enough, the Berlin Senate wants to add a 10th in 2019. However, the question is whether they can agree on a date before the end of this year. A popular proposal by SPD-member Iris Spranger, is to make it International Women’s Day on March 8 (her online petition for the idea collected 28,000 signatures). Other contestants include May 8 (Liberation Day) or March 18 (March Revolution 1848).