Germany’s News in English: July 22 – 28
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. Kramp-Karrenbauer was sworn in as Minister of Defense
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has officially been sworn in as Minister of Defense after her predecessor Ursula von der Leyen will be taking over as new head of the European Commission. Following the swearing-in, Kramp-Karrenbauer gave a governmental declaration about the topic “with responsibility for the future of Germany. A strong German army for a changing world.”
“The service of soldiers and employees in the army deserve respect,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer. The army was in times like these, specifically referring to planned service in Strait of Hormuz, a central instrument to the safety of Germany. She concluded with being very proud of the service of the men and women in the army.
Kramp-Karrenbauer also called for strengthening Europe, amongst other points with military duties. Germany would also remain tightly embedded in the transatlantic alliance and NATO would remain a guarantee of the country’s safety.
Source: Der Spiegel
2. AfD can expand local election candidate list
The Saxon Constitutional Court has allowed the AfD a temporary expansion of their candidate list for the federal state elections. The party can now expand the list to 30 instead of 18 candidates from September 1 this year.
A final verdict regarding the list of originally 61 candidates is still to be reached. The original procedure was aimed at the question if the shortening of the list of candidates was legal. The verdict is expected to be reached on August 16. The shortening from 61 to 18 candidates was due to formal deficiencies.
Source: Der Spiegel
3. Former GDR refugees can be compensated for health injuries
The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig has decided that refugees who suffered health injuries crossing the border from the GDR to the republic, can be compensated, as the heavily guarded GDR border was contrary to the rule of law. The senate further declared that the border security measurements were aimed against individuals, such as exploding mines, people getting hurt at the barbed wire or being pursued by border patrols. This ruling contradicts the former verdict of the Federal Administrative Court in Potsdam, which had deemed the security measurements aimed at the GDR population as a total.
The case had been handed to the court in Leipzig when a 56-year-old man from Berlin, who had been traumatized during his escape to West Berlin on December 20, 1988, asked for retribution. The back then 26-year-old fled with his brother during the night over the border at Teltow-Sigridshorst. The man got stuck with his clothes on the barbed wire and was threatened by two guards with machine guns. He also experienced mines exploding around him. According to his lawyer, the man was still suffering emotionally from these experiences.
Following the verdict, the man now has the option of an administrative rehabilitation at the pension office and have his treatment bills taken care of. The official numbers state that during 327 people had died at the German-German border, four out of five were younger than 35 years. At the Berlin Wall alone 139 people died. The real figures might be even higher though.
Source: Die Zeit
4. New heatwave record in Germany
The German Weather Service has confirmed a new temperature record of 42.6° Celsius on July 25 at the weather station in Lingen/Ems. The service has recorded German temperatures going back all the way to 1881. 25 stations recorded more than 40 degrees, six federal states reached new heatwave records.
One day before the recording in Lingen, the all-time record from 2015 was already broken in Geilenkirchen bei Aachen as temperatures there reached 40.5° Celsius. The record from 2015 had been 40.3 °C in Kitzingen.
Source: Die Zeit
5. E-Scooter rentals call for safety classes
After a series of accidents, several rental services of e-scooters demand that their customers take safety classes. The company Lime is kicking of the initiative by inviting 30 people to do a “First-Ride” training in Hamburg, other cities will follow in a two-week rhythm all over Germany and will be repeated consequently.
The 90-minute classes include training for turning, braking and behavior in dangerous situations. Participants also receive designer helmets worth up to 70 Euro. The competition Circ and Tier has also started handing out helmets for free. The Swedish company Voi has plans of programming a virtual driving school over the summer. Graduates will receive credits worth up to 10 Euro which they can invest in new rides.
Source: Der Spiegel
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