Discover more from 20 Percent Berlin
#148: Masks, €49 ticket, city bonds
Berlin now has a cryo start-up
Dear 20 Percent,
As you already know from reading this newsletter, Berlin is holding its 2021 election again on February 12 because of irregularities the first time around.
Voters will cast their ballots for the state parliament and district councils. EU citizens aged 16 and older residing in the city can participate in the latter.
I’m typing this sick in bed. For a little entertainment I checked out the Wahl-o-mat, a quiz designed to help voters find a party platform that matches up with their concerns and beliefs.
The Wahl-o-mat presents you with 38 political policies. The user can selecte “agree”, “don’t agree” or “neutral”. Some of the policies are rather niche, such as the following:
Circuses with animals in their programmes should not be allowed to use state-owned land.
To be honest, that’s not something I’ve ever thought about but I’m guessing it’s from the manifesto of the Tierschutzpartei - the Animal Protection Party. I ended up clicking “neutral” on a lot of the questions.
In the end, the Wahl-o-mat always matches me with some fringe party. This time, The Humanists, with whom I agree 67.8% of the time.
If nothing else, the app is a good way to practice your German while getting a sense of the issues in this election beyond rules about circuses.
Thanks for reading!
Speaking of the election
Ah, the slow wheels of German justice: This country’s constitutional court Tuesday denied a motion to halt the re-election but said it won’t rule on the re-election’s constitutionality until early March, according to Tagesspiegel. It could theoretically then toss out the results of the re-election but their first ruling (not halting the thing) is supposedly an indicator of how they will ultimately rule. 43 politicians sued to halt the re-election because they say it’s unconstitutional.
No more masks
Face masks have been required on public transport since April 27, 2020 — nearly three years ago. From Wednesday, no more. BVG said it will need some time to remove all the stickers asking people to mask up. But they’re not disappearing entirely: Masks will still be required at hospitals, doctors and care homes, and probably by some doms.
The federal government and Germany’s 16 states have agreed to co-finance a successor to last summer’s popular €9 ticket, according to Taz. The ticket will cost €49 per month and probably be valid from May 1 — sales are expected to start April 3. You’ll be able to use it on local public transport (buses, U-Bahns, trams) as well as regional trains across the country. Whether the ticket will cover a dog, bike or kid as well depends on the state.
Invest in Berlin
The state of Berlin says it will issue a new kind of sustainability bond to finance projects centering around ecological and social transformation. The bonds will raise €750 million and will fund 38 projects, ranging from electrifying BVG’s bus fleet to a programme offering free school lunches. Consumers will be able to buy the 10-year bond with a minimum investment of €1,000. No info about the interest rate or when the bond will become available has been released.
Berlin’s cryopreservation start-up
I used to think having your corpse frozen was limited to eccentric Californian millionaires. But no: Cryonics has made it to Berlin: Start-up Tomorrow Biostasis will deep-freeze your body (€200,000) or just your brain (€60,000) just after your die. For €25 per month, you can get on the waiting list! When you do actually die, they will pick you up in their “ambulance” to make sure you get chilled very, very quickly. According Tech.eu, “They’ll keep your body or brain in a state of stasis until medical technology advances in future decades to not only treat the original cause of your death but revive you to enjoy a second or extended life.” You and Walt Disney partying together in 2323 (yes, we know the Disney thing is a myth)!
Berlin’s first Fernsprechkiosk or “telephone kiosk” opened on Potsdamer Platz in January 1881. Deutsche Telekom removed the very last working phone booth from the city at the end of last year.
⭐⭐⭐Visit our sponsor!⭐⭐⭐
Ostrom just reduced electricity costs for everyone—Saving customers on average 200€ per year!
The energy market prices are finally going down, and staying true to their promise, Ostrom also decreased their prices by up to 19 ct/kWh for ALL Ostrom customers — new and existing! On average, a customer that uses 2500 kWh per year will now save 200€ on top of the Strompreisbremse! Unlike other providers, who trap their existing customers at a fixed price and only offer lower prices to new customers, Ostrom will always be cost-effective and treat all customers fairly. 🤝
Ostrom is the provider that delivers you green energy at cost—no markups, just a flat 6€ admin fee. That means, when you’re an Ostrom customer, your home electricity costs will go down when the market prices cool. They’ve also simplified everything by offering one flexible monthly plan with no lock-ins, an all-digital experience, and everything in English and German. PLUS, you can save money by easily keeping track of your energy consumption with the Ostrom app!
Switch to Ostrom today at a lower price! 📉
Head to Ostrom.de to sign up in five minutes—they’ll handle all the admin. Their support team will deal with your ex-provider and ensure your lights stay on throughout the entire switching process, you don’t have to lift a finger.
Use code 20PERC3NT5 to get a €35 bonus when signing up, after which you’ll get a personal referral code to share, meaning another €35 bonus each time someone uses it!