Discover more from 20 Percent Berlin
#179: Waiting to become German, CDU donation scandal, club festival
And what is Berlin's shortest street?
Hey 20 Percent!
I’ll keep it short because I celebrated German Father’s Day this year by visiting my American father. So I’m writing this heavily jetlagged while most of you either sleep or dance in some wonderful-yet-grubby Berlin club.
Or maybe you instead celebrated Ascension Day which, let’s be honest, sounds much better in German: Himmelfahrt. Funny enough to English ears but even translated it’s humorous: ‘Heavenly trip’ which, realistically, could be any holiday travel — especially since my kids became teenagers and I now longer have to crowd into an Airbus with little children in tow.
Have a good (hopefully extended) weekend!
Even more waiting to become German, which is very German
The number of 20 percenters waiting to receive German citizenship has leapt to 27,000 currently from 20,000 last year as many borough-level naturalization offices paused their efforts, according to RBB24. The offices halted work as Berlin centralizes naturalization efforts in a new office due to open next year near the dreaded Ausländerbehörde in Wedding. Berlin interior minister Iris Spranger (SPD) said the centralized office would push digitalization as well as have 200 bureaucrats working on naturalization — up from 90 currently — to create 20,000 new citizens per year, up from about 8,000 now. Federal politicians have also promised to loosen dual citizenship laws. We’ll believe it when we see it.
Corruption scandal or na?
Left-leaning politicians (and possibly the Tagesspiegel newspaper) are hoping to encircle new Berlin mayor Kai Wegner (CDU) in what is an odd corruption scandal. Berlin property magnate Christoph Gröner donated €820,000 to the conservative CDU prior to the 2021 election and publicly said he asked for three favors in return for his largesse. If he made the demands and the party agreed, that’s illegal but Mayor Wegner says he never agreed to anything. Wait until you hear the supposed demands: Gröner told Deutschlandfunk that he expected handicapped orphans to get the same clothing allowance as other orphans (they currently get €200 less); that if the Berlin rent cap wasn’t overturned by a court, the CDU shouldn’t oppose it but should modify it (it was overturned by a court) and, finally, that Berlin’s 12 districts should communicate more regularly with orphanages to ensure they’re running smoothly. Mayor Wegner in a different interview said there was actually a fourth: that Berlin do more to help the city’s homeless. The center-left SPD and the leftist Die Linke are demanding a federal investigation, according to Tagesspiegel, which hyped up the already public remarks from Deutschlandfunk. Gröner has since said he was being impulsive during the interview and expected nothing in return.
Murder in Spandau
Cops are asking for help from witnesses after a 40-year-old Syrian man was gunned down near a refugee shelter in Spandau at mid-day on Tuesday. Die Polizei released few details except to say the man had just arrived in the Spandau suburb of Gatow and was shot while stepping out of his VW. The suspect was able to escape but police said a dark-colored sedan may somehow be connected.
65-hour party people
Thanks to the hundreds who answered our survey on Tuesday! It’s online for a few more days. Many of you requested more event tips, so here’s a banger: the 65-hour Home Again Club Festival that runs from today through Monday morning at RSO.Berlin out East in Schöneweide, an area a lot of nightlife and culture has been gravitating towards since Ai Wei Wei’s brief stint at a studio in Oberschöneweide a decade ago. Home Again boasts 49 mostly electronic artists, three stages, talks on tech and culture, movies and street food. Naturally against a pleasantly post-industrial backdrop. The info!
Depending upon who you ask, Berlin’s shortest street is either the unimaginatively named Straße 54 in Heinersdorf or the Eiergasse in Mitte. Straße 54 weighs in at 17.2 meters, according to Tagesspiegel (paywall), and is sandwiched between a Tedi discount store and the Freies Land garden allotment colony. The adorable Eiergasse in the Nikolaiviertel has been heralded as the shortest at 16 meters for years, but some sources say it’s actually 18.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Visit our sponsor! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
SAVE MONEY WITHOUT GETTING OUT OF BED?!
What easier way to cut costs than by paying less for electricity? With
the OSTROM APP, you can easily keep track of your energy consumption
and adapt your monthly payments any time.
Ostrom is the provider that delivers you green energy at cost price — no
markups, just a flat €6 admin fee. As an Ostrom customer, you can
expect lower electricity bills when market prices drop. To make things
easier, they offer a flexible, month-to-month plan that can be cancelled at any time, with an all-digital experience in both English and German.
Head to OSTROM.DE to sign up in five minutes. Their support team
will deal with your ex-provider and ensure your lights stay on
throughout the entire switching process.
Use code 20PERC3NT5 for a €35 bonus when signing up. After that,
you’ll get a personal referral code to share, meaning another €35
bonus each time someone uses it!