#108: Jobs for foreigners, gas prices, expensive WGs
And the ignominious end of Mitte's mayor
Hello 20 Percent,
I have to admit, I’m feeling guilty. No, it’s nothing to do with the Queen. It’s because I’m writing this Thursday night rather than Friday morning. Things have conspired to make us unable to pen this newsletter Friday but considering the whopper of news that came out this afternoon (see above), I can’t imagine something bigger will happen between now and when this goes out. I don’t think we’ll miss anything you need to know, but I’m still afraid we will.
Below I’m going to launch a new section: Die Postkutsche (the mail coach). We get emails that also make me feel guilty because they often include info y’all would benefit from but I’m not sure how to shoehorn into the newsletter — and maybe the answer is to just print them the way they show up. So the first issue of Die Postkutsche is below with some info on lowering your rent.
Have a good weekend everyone. The event listings will be back next week.
The Berlin corona stats for Friday, September 9
New cases in one day: 1,293 (1,846 Tuesday)
Total deaths: 4,775 (+8 over Tuesday)
🔴 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,000): 195,7 (208.4 Tuesday)
🔴7-day hospitalization incidence (also per 100,000): 8.6 (8.9 Tuesday)
🟢 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 3.4% (3.3% Tuesday)
Source: Berlin’s corona page
Foreigners taking all the jobs
You’re doing it 20 Percent — you’re really, really doing it! More than half of the full-time positions filled last year in Berlin went to people without a German passport (you know, US), according to the Morgenpost. Ausländer took 62% of the 59,900 full-time jobs (known as sozialversicherungspflichtigen jobs, or jobs that require payments for social benefits) on offer while 78% of the 16,300 positions on offer in Brandenburg went to us. The percentages have never been so high, the paper quoted the Berlin-Brandenburg association of business associations as saying.
WGs are getting pricey too
Most of you probably already know but prices for WG Plätze (spots in shared apartments) have leapt 11% in the past year, according to RBB24. A room in a Berlin WG now averages €550 per month, up from €495 a year earlier. The Moses Mendelssohn Institute looked at ads on wg-gesucht.de in the 95 German cities with more than 5,000 students and discovered that the average WG spot in Germany goes for €435, less than Berlin but €44 more than a year earlier, also an 11% increase. The most expensive rooms are reportedly in Munich (€700) and the cheapest in Chemnitz (€250). Make sure to mark your food and keep a cleaning chart.
If you’re reading this on the website you could be reading it in your email, which could also be on a different website.
Mitte’s mayor is no longer
Stephan van Dassel (Grüne), the mayor of Mitte, was removed from his position by an overwhelming majority of the borough’s parliament Friday after he was unable to counter accusations of nepotism. 43 of the 47 parliamentarians at Thursday’s meeting voted for his removal, including 12 from his own party, according to Tagesspiegel. Van Dassel is accused of trying to arrange a private settlement after a failed applicant appealed the appointment of a Van Dassel confidant to a high-level position in the Mitte government. It was this summer’s second high-ranking nepotism scandal after the head of public broadcaster RBB was fired amid accusations of excessive spending and — yes — cronyism.
Gas and diesel are cheapest in Berlin (and Bremen and Stuttgart), the German monopoly office said Thursday. Bavarians, by comparison, pay the most, sometimes as much as €0.27 more per liter. The watchdog is investigating why prices vary regionally — and even during the day. They say the refinery supply-chain excuses don’t ring true.
I found out something today about rental reductions which could be well worth sharing with your audience:
Previously, when asking for a rent reduction based on the Mietspiegel (local average rents), the period in which rental reductions were calculated from began from the date that one first sent a letter to the Hausverwaltung (property manager) to request it. Now however, for any contract signed after 1st April 2020, not only can you wait 30 months to send your request, the rental reductions also apply retroactively!
I found this out from a lawyer from the Berliner Mietverein today, and found this article (German-only) to back it up: