Berlin News in English: Week of September 17 – 23
Welcome to the first edition of MyExpatCommunity news feature for Berlin! Our goal is to provide you with snippets of the most important news of the last couple of weeks from the German capital Berlin so you can stay up to date. If you enjoy it, tell us (so we know to continue!) share your feedback with us & subscribe to get the newsletter. Yes, just sign up there! —>
1. OECD predicts less economic growth in Germany
Germany’s economy is constantly reducing its growth according to a recent study of the OECD. At the beginning of the year, experts anticipated an economic growth of 2,4%, now that optimistic forecast has dropped significantly to 1,9%. Next year’s forecast is not better with 1,8%. One major reason for this development is the current situation of the world economy. Analysts believe that the peak in economic growth during this recovery period may have already been reached.
Furthermore, the trade war between China and the USA is also having a negative influence. Trust has diminished and trade and investments are developing slower as expected. Less economic growth in Germany can result in job stagnation and higher costs for the welfare system.
Source: Die Zeit
2. 1500 new Metro carriages for Berlin
1500 new carriages instead of 1050! The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) are closing one of the biggest deals in their history these days. The reason is increased demand of the population. The metro had 563 Million guests last year and was the most important means of transportation in the city. Currently, 1300 carriages are in use. The first new metros won’t be in the field until 2021 though.
But new metros aren’t the only thing happening at the BVG. A second assignment is planned for the30th of September. It will concern the addition of 117 new tram carriages. Currently, Bombardier/ Siemens, Stadler and Alstom are competing for the jobs. The number of trams is not set in stone. During the 10 year contract, there will still be a possibility of increasing this figure.
Source: Berliner Zeitung
3. Emission scandal: VW owners can join the class action
Shareholders are currently preparing a sample appeal against VW for damages. Soon, affected VW owners will have the possibility to take similar actions against the car manufacturer. To do so, they have to participate in this sample claim starting on the 1st of November.
A formal proceeding will then establish if the plaintiff fulfills all the criteria for a lawsuit. Eligible participants are the owners of VW cars with an EA-189 motor and who were subject to backfitting.
Further inquiries about legal actions can be obtained at the motorclub ADAC. Claims will expire by the 31st of December 2018. The registration and participation is free.
Source: Berliner Zeitung
4. New apartments at the Havelufer
The German-Austrian residential building company Buwog wants to turn old storage buildings in Spandau into new residential areas. The objects of interest are two of the three landmarked storage units from the 30s. The third building would be torn down and rebuild in a fashion similar to the other two. Unlike the other two, it would be used as an office space for industry.
Besides those three primary buildings, further developments are planned on the 50.000 square meter area. The whole community would receive the name “SpeicherBallett”, Storage Ballet, and would sum up to 600 apartments. 70 percent of those will be rental, 30 percent to be sold. At the moment, BUWOG is expecting cost of about 225 Million Euro. Currently, they are still waiting for approval of the project.
In the past, the area was mostly known for illegal trash dumps and as a meeting point for adolescents to throw parties. The trash dump has been meanwhile eradicated with the help of night security. Due to the heavy contamination of the waste, the Environmental Agency will play an important part in the rededication of the area. The company is planning to start building in 2019 and have the first apartments ready for tenants in 2021.
Source: Berliner Morgenpost
5. Initiative criticises new concept for Spreepark
A group of activists made up of club owners, artists, conservationist, members of the float community and residents have initiated a protest against the new concept for the Spreepark, the old GDR amusement park. The original park had been closed in 2001. The activists are complaining about plans to make this a “gated Disneyland with costs”. Some of the community’s ideas include of reserving half of the area for a new type of art and culture park or a docking station for floats.
The current concept is however not crafted as a new fairground, but as a “place of surprise”. Some of the old rides are supposed to be reactivated, and even the Ferris wheel would be used again. The residents are still worried about the noise and the busy daytime tourism the new attraction would create.
Source: Berliner Morgenpost
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