Germany’s News in English: March 4 – 10
Welcome to the latest edition of MyExpatCommunity news feature for Germany! That’s right, we’ve expanded our scope, following up on the feedback we got from you!
Our goal is to provide you with the most important news of the last two weeks from Germany – so you can stay up to date.
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1. CDU-Chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer calls Germans “tensed up”
CDU-Chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer rebukes criticism against her comment about intersexual people. During a speech at a carnival party in Stockach am Bodensee last month she had asked the participants “Who of you has been to Berlin recently? There you’ll find the Latte-macchiato group that is introducing toilets for the third gender.” She continued by saying that people who didn’t know if they are still allowed to stand while peeing or need to sit down would now have a third option.
After receiving a lot of backlash from various groups and individuals across the country, Kramp-Karrenbauer has responded to the critics in a speech held to the CDU on Ash Wednesday. She stated that those who had listened to the speech in its full length would realize that she didn’t make a joke about intersexuals but had tried to free herself of the image of being a women’s libber.
Kramp-Karrenbauer further stated that Germany was discussing “such nonsense” shows that the country obviously doesn’t have any bigger problems. Germans couldn’t simply be happy, she stated. „We are the most tensed up population walking the planet.” She concluded with saying that she fears for the tradition of carnival if people continue like this.
Source: Die Zeit
2. German Ambassador banished from Venezuela
The regime of Nicolás Maduro has declared the German Ambassador Daniel Kriener as persona non grata and has given him 48 hours to leave the country. The declaration was posted on Twitter by Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. Nicolás Maduro The reason given for these measurements is that “Kriener has meddled with internal matters”.
Kriener had recently received Maduro’s opponent Juan Guaidó, who was returning to the country, at the airport. His presence was to ensure that the opposition leader was not arrested. Guaidó had left the country earlier despite a travel ban and had traveled across several South American Countries. The Federal Foreign Office has confirmed the proceedings of returning Kriener to Germany. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has criticized the measurements. They would only increase the already existing tension.
Guaidó is the chairman of the opposition-dominated national assembly, the only legit democratic institution left in the country. In January he declared himself as the interim president of Venezuela in accordance with the constitution. Over 50 nations have already acknowledged his position, amongst them the U.S. as well as many Latin American and European countries.
Source: Der Spiegel
3. Child abuse swept under the rug in the former GDR
According to a study by the Independent Commission for the Reappraisal of Sexual Child Abuse, talking about abuse in the former GDR was welcomed neither in the public nor in private life. It was seen as disrupting the wholesome image of the socialist society.
While sexual abuse also existed in the old federal republic, the political system of power and the state-run repressive education system further aided in silencing the abuse in the GDR. Approximately 120,000 children and adolescents suffered from special children’s homes and residential youth institutions. These functioned as another closed system within the closed system of the GDR. Abuse at home in the family was not addressed either, as families had to live “the happy life of a model family in the GDR”.
The commission has stated that there are still many victims today that can barely speak about the experiences they made. There further is a lack of aid, support groups, and counseling institutions as well as financial means. The commission was founded in 2016 and has since investigated several forms of sexual child abuse in the federal republic and the GDR. They have accumulated 75 hearings and 27 reports of affected people.
Source: Die Zeit
4. Four companies licensed for 5G-frequency
The Federal Network Agency has declared March 19 as the launch for the bidding of 5G mobile frequencies and has admitted four companies to the bidding, Telekom, Vodafone, Telefónica and 1&1 Drillisch. 420 Megahertz out of the sections 2 Gigahertz and 3,6 Gigahertz are up for auction.
Telekom, Vodafone, and Telefónica want to move the date of the auction and have handed in an emergency appeal at the administrative court in Cologne. The appeal is the companies rebelling against the official requirements formulated by the Federal Network Agency. The Agency only wants to hand out frequencies to those companies that oblige themselves to provide the country with radio masts. The companies counter that the requirements are too manifold and not attainable.
5G stands for the fifth mobile network generation. The data transmission will be much faster than with the current LTE standard. Introducing 5G is a crucial precondition for important future technologies, such as telemedicine or the remote operation of the industry. Warnings have been repeatedly issued to not delay the introduction of the technology too long.
Source: Die Zeit
5. German radio stations react to Michael Jackson
After the recently aired Michael Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland” has put old child abuse allegations back in the spotlight, German radio stations are debating if they should continue playing his songs. On the one hand, the evidence in the documentary is overwhelming, on the other hand, the court acquitted Jackson of any wrongdoings. Another question is if the artistic work of an artist can be seen as a separate entity of the person.
The Canadian media house Cogeco had recently stated that their 23 radio stations would play no Jackson songs, until further notice. The Dutch station NH Radio followed suit. In Germany, the stations are currently promoting caution. The WDR has suggested not to delete Jackson songs from the lineup but wait and see if the allegations will lead to a legal reevaluation. Antenne Bayern declared that the songs are foremost art and that their listeners love them. Playing Jackson doesn’t mean promoting child abuse.
The documentary „Leaving Neverland“ was first screened earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and was shown in the U.S. on Sunday and Monday on HBO. In Germany, the documentary will be broadcast on April 6 on ProSieben.
Source: Der Spiegel
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