Germany’s News in English: July 8 – 14
Welcome to the latest edition of MyExpatCommunity news on Germany! Here we’ll provide you with snippets of the most important German news from the last couple of weeks so you can stay up to date.
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1. UN calls Europe to start doing rescue missions in the Mediterranean again
UN organizations are asking Europe to resume their rescue missions in the Mediterranean Sea, the head of the UN Refugee Organization (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi, and the head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), António Vitorino, released in a common statement. Furthermore, private organizations taking over where the EU left off, should not be punished for saving drowning refugees.
The return of refugees to Libya needs to stop too, as the situation in Libya is too dangerous. One example is the death of more than 50 refugees in Tadjoura last week when an airstrike hit the camp. The area is currently under heavy siege ever since general Chalifa Haftar started his attack to overthrow the government.
Both UN directors demand that the 5,600 refugees, which are currently held in Libyan camps, should be “formally liberated and protected” and brought into other countries. According to numbers by the UNHCR and the IOM, about 50,000 registered refugees are currently stuck in Libya, with an additional 800,000 that are not registered.
Source: Die Zeit
2. Paris is awarding Carola Rackete and Pia Klemp
Paris is awarding the German rescue mission captains Carola Rackete and Pia Klemp the highest medal of merit of the city. The distinction is meant to highlight the solidarity, the engagement and the respect of human rights by the two women. Apart from receiving the Médaille Grand Vermeil de la Ville de Paris, the French sea rescue organization SOS Méditerranée will donate €100,000 for new missions.
Rackete had manoeuvred a ship for the German rescue organization Sea-Watch, taking several refugees to Italy without a permit. Klemp was the captain of the organization “Jugend Rettet im Sommer” back in 2017 before their ship was seized by Italian authorities. Both have been accused of aid in illegal immigration by their critics.
Source: Die Zeit
3. Identitarian Movement officially declared extreme right-wing
The Identitarian Movement has been deemed right-wing extremist by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The declaration is the result of a three-year examination of the Federal Security Service. The conclusion was drawn due to the fact that the positions represented by the movement are not compatible with the German constitution.
The classification as extreme right-wing allows the Office for the Protection of the Constitution now to use all means available to monitor the movement. Before, the Identitarians were merely considered a suspected case.
The Identitarian movement was founded in 2012 and currently has about 600 members. The ideology of the group is described by its members as “ethnopluralism”. It stands for the belief that people of different ethnic backgrounds should not live together in one society. In the past, the organization has repeatedly campaigned against the Muslim community in Europe.
Source: Die Zeit
4. Nina Scheer and Karl Lauterbach want to become Chairman of the SPD
The parliamentarians Nina Scheer and Karl Lauterbach want to run as a duo for the SPD chairman position after Andrea Nahles had resigned from the position earlier this year. Additionally, their visions for the party is to move it more to the left of the political spectrum again.
Part of the plan is to exit the current governing coalition with the CDU, as both candidates see little in common in the long-term goals between the two parties. Scheer and Lauterbach, as well as any other SPD member, can still announce their candidacy until September 1.
Source: Der Spiegel
5. Severe weather conditions in Germany
With the vacation period starting this week, the German roads will face one of the worst travel weekends of the year. But not only the end of term will lead to traffic jams, the bad weather is restricting the journeys too.
Drivers in Nordrhein-Westfalen should be prepared for Aquaplaning as well as damage caused by hail. In the Rein-Lahn area, streets had to be closed due to landslides. Passengers by train and plane have to bank on delays due to the weather. Lightning in the Rheintal area between Offenburg and Karlsruhe has lead to train breakdowns and delays. The Frankfurt airport has had to deal with delays in the handling and cancellations.
Most holiday traffic will take place on the streets going North – and Baltic Sea as well as south. Drivers going via Austria should be aware of driving bans and should evade the area around Innsbruck and Salzburg.
Source: Der Spiegel
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