Germany’s News in English: June 10 – 16

Welcome to the latest edition of MyExpatCommunity news on Germany! Here we’ll provide you with snippets of the most important German news of the last couple of weeks so you can stay up to date.

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1. AfD joining a coalition of right-wing parties in the European Parliament

populists, european parliament, faction

The right-wing populist parties in the European Parliament have started a faction called “Identity and Democracy”, comprising of 73 parliamentarians. The German AfD is also a member, amongst other parties such as the French Front National, the Italian Lega Nord, and the Austrian FPÖ.

The goal of this parliamentary fraction is to voice a no to a “European Superstate” and to the “incapacitation of the national states” as well as all the other “nonsense” by the other political parties. Concrete positions already expressed are a rejection of the sanctions against Russia, as “they wouldn’t change anything about the situation in Crimea.” The group rather proposes pragmatic politics and a good working relationship.

Head of Lega Nord, Matteo Salvini, has further announced that the parliamentary group wants to become the strongest faction in the European Parliament. Currently, they are in the fifth place, after the Conservatives, the Social Democrats, the Liberals, and the Greens.

Source: Die Süddeutsche

2. SPD wants to cap rents nationwide

urban areas, living costs, federal state
The SPD wants to negotiate a nationwide cap of rents. The goal is to freeze the rents for the next five years in residential areas that are popular and up and coming. The role model could affect the efforts of the red-red-green Berlin provincial government.

According to the SPD, this would win the state time to buy new residential areas and create new city districts. Another question complementing this is the how-to of getting jobs back into the countryside, diminishing the need of people to move into urban centers.

The question of affordable living is a big topic amongst the various Bundestag parties. The Green Party is asking the government to tackle the issue of adapting the costs. The party stresses that habitation is a basic right.

Source: Die Zeit

3. Coalition agrees on expansion for mobile communications

cell phone, mobile provider, government
The federal government wants to take over the trusteeship in expanding mobile communications. With this step, SPD and CDU/CSU hope to improve the quality of mobile service in the country. One point of the action plan is to build new cell towers in unprovided areas.

The cell phone providers have agreed – according to the paper – to provide service to 99% of all households by the end of 2020. The federal state should jump into action in those cases, in which the economic expansion doesn’t work and supply shortages surface. Furthermore, the transition to 5G and providing the ideal condition to develop key technologies are also goals set by the state.

Source: Die Zeit

4. The killing of male chicks still allowed transitionally

chicks, killing, mass production
In the meat and egg production, male chicks are not needed and have so far been gassed in the masses. The Federal Administrative Court has now decided that this will only be transitionally legal from now on. Economic interests are no ”sound reason” to kill animals in accordance with animal protection law.

Scientists have developed a method to determine the sex of a chick before hatching. This method however so far isn’t being used nationwide. Currently, 45 Million male chicks are killed every year and are processed into food for zoos. The animal protection law states, however, that no animal may receive pain or harm “without good reason”.

Source: Die Süddeutsche

5. Youtube Star Rezo visits Jan Böhermann

rezo, böhmernann, cdu© Julia Hüttner/ZDF

The German Youtube Influencer Rezo caused a great stir amongst the political parties and the general public when he uploaded a video in May attacking the politics of the CDU. After not joining the public debate for quite a while, he has now made an appearance on comedian Jan Böhmermann’s “Neo Magazin Royale.”

When asked why he published the 55-minute video, Rezo answered he wanted to start a “small discourse”. The also mentioned the reaction of the CDU, ranging from trying to silence him to trying to embrace him. Böhermann kept pushing for Rezo to give his recommendations on how the parties should compose themselves in the future. Rezo’s recommendations were to one, ”f*** up less,” and two, “use a more human language.”

Source: Der Spiegel

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