Germany’s News in English: June 24 – 30
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. EU is threatening with a veto against G-20 declaration concerning climate protection
The EU is refusing to accept any final declaration at the G-20 summit in Japan that results in the topic of climate protection falling behind previous declarations. EU Commission president Jean-Claude Junker stated that the summit should end with a strong statement concerning climate change, therefore the EU could not accept any watered-down version such as the one from December 2018.
At the last meeting in Buenos Aires, all the summit participants except Donald Trump had declared to opt for the “unrestricted implementation” of the Paris Agreement and that moving back was unacceptable. During the summit in Osaka however, the United States was joined by critical voices from Brazil and Australia. Therefore, the participants are expecting tough negotiations in the days to follow. According to the French government, the US is trying to convince more members to join forces.
The Paris Agreement states that climate change should be counteracted so the global temperature doesn’t rise more than two degrees Celsius – and ideally even stops at 1.5 degrees. The comparison standard is the time before the industrialization.
2. Parliament votes for reform of the right for citizenship
The parliament has passed a newly adapted right to the citizenship law. A majority consisting of the government parties CDU/CSU and SPD voted in favor and in opposition to the other parties in parliament. The law aggravates the rules for naturalization as well as withdrawal of German citizenship.
German ISIS fighters will, according to the law, lose their citizenship, given that they have a second citizenship. The constitutional law states that it is forbidden for people to be stateless. Also, those, who had cheated in their application for citizenship, will face having taken their passport away over a longer period of time. Until now, the passport could be withdrawn up to five years after naturalization. Now, the time period was upped to ten years.
Another controversial part of the law is the phrasing of the “integration into German living conditions” as a condition for the naturalization. This clause should prevent people, who live in polygamy, to obtain German citizenship. The opposition has criticized that the passage is not formulated clear enough and could be applied randomly to various situations.
Source: Die Zeit
3. Majority supports a cooperation ban for the CDU with the AfD
Nearly two-thirds of the German population support the cooperation ban between the CDU and the populist AfD that was recently introduced by CDU chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. That is the result of a survey conducted by the ARD “Deutschlandtrend”. The survey, however, also shows that the question is dividing the country. In Eastern Germany, 49 percent of the inhabitants are against the ban, 46 percent are in favor. In the western part of the country, 68 percent are in favor of having this ban. On a federal scale, 68 percent support this cooperation ban.
Kramp-Karrenbauer and CSU chairman Markus Söder had decided to voice their decision against striving to coalitions with the AfD. The CDU in Eastern Germany, however, is currently discussing such cooperation. The three eastern federal states Brandenburg, Sachsen, and Thüringen are electing new federal state parliaments in autumn.
4. Merkel in favor of banning tobacco advertisement
Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken out surprisingly in favor of banning tobacco advertisement. Such a measurement is still a hot topic for debate in parliament. Acknowledging this, Merkel stated that looking into a ban would create a very controversial discussion within her own party. She has, however, promised that the CDU would find common ground on this by the end of the year.
During the last election period, an advertisement ban had failed due to the opposition by the CDU. A draft was agreed upon which would ban any ads on billboards and in movie theaters starting 2020, but the law was never passed.
Source: Der Spiegel
5. Germany has the highest population number in its history
With over 83 Million inhabitants, Germany has the highest population number in its history. Last year the population grew by 227,000 people, or 0.3 percent, making the number of people grow beyond exactly 83 Million to 83,0192 inhabitants.
The cause is that 386,000 more people immigrated than emigrated. Additionally, the number of deaths rose above the number of births by 167,000. The growth, however, was less steep than in previous years. The number of foreigners rose from 11.7 percent to 12.2 percent. Germany currently holds 72.9 Million German citizens and 10.1 Million foreign citizens.
The federal states with the biggest growth in absolute numbers are Bavaria (79,500), followed by Baden-Württemberg (46,100) and then Berlin (31,300). In percentages, Berlin (plus 0.9%) Bavaria and Hamburg (each plus 0.6%) take the crown.
Another distinctive trend is that there is still a huge split between east and west. Apart from the Saarland, all western federal states grew in numbers, in the new federal states only Brandenburg had positive growth (7,9000). Scientists have stated that over the next 15 years the population will slowly decrease. Supposedly, in 2035 82.3 Million inhabitants will live in Germany. While the eastern federal states will lose inhabitants, Berlin and the west will gain in numbers.
Source: Der Spiegel
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