#190: Storm, min. wage, housing buyback okayed, Norwegian retreat
JFK's Ich bin ein Berliner speech
Dear 20 Percent,
A commission of experts appointed by the previous SPD-led city government to look into the question of the state buying up flats from corporate landlords with at least 3,000 units in the city — as proposed in the successful “Deutsche Wohnen & Co. Enteignen” referendum — has given its stamp of approval to the project, according to RBB. The citizen’s intiative behind the referendum believes a buyback of housing could help stabilise rents for thousands of Berliners.
The current CDU-SPD coalition led by Mayor Kai Wegner (CDU) and Economy Minister and former mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) is now obliged to draft a “framework law” that lays down principles over how such a buy back could happen. This could take two years, according to the Senat (city administration)!
Wegner and Giffey have always despised the Deutsche Wohnen & Co. Enteignen project and are obviously stalling, giving lawyers time to pick the project to pieces.
The expert commission believes a forced state purchase of flats as outlined in the referendum conforms with the German constitution.
And yet the highest court of the land, the Constitutional Court — the place where such idealistic projects go to die — has a track record of shooting down almost any measure that takes away rights from property owners. I’m not holding my breath.
More news below!
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German pols love delegating decisions to an expert commission! And here’s another: The minimum wage commission has recommended raising the minimum hourly wage to €12.41 by January 1, 2024 and to €12.82 by January 1, 2025. That’s 41 cents per year, or a little over 3% — which is not in step with the latest annual inflation figure of 6.1%. The government is expected to adopt the recommendation because it always does. Unions aren’t happy. They were pushing for €13.50 by 2025.
Unwetter — torrential rain, thunder and lightning, wind, flooding — hammered Berlin on Monday. Emergency services were called 400 times to deal with uprooted trees, flooded basements and roadways. The cellar of the Zoopalast cinema in Tiergarten was submerged. Some S-Bahn lines and sections of the A100 autobahn were temporarily closed.
Relief for Berlin parents coping with their kid boredom in the summer holidays: The “Super-Ferien-Pass” costs €9 and gets kids aged 18 and younger into outdoor pools free-of charge during the break. Hopefully pool visits will remain brawl-free. The deal includes loads of coupons for a free zoo visit and discounts on activities. The Super-Ferien-Pass is only available for those living in Berlin and is now available at REWE, some libraries, Bürgeramter and online.
Oda and out
Norwegian grocery delivery service Oda is exiting Berlin and Germany just three and a half months after launching in Febuary, Insider reports. Oda had already attracted 18,000 customers and was serving the capital region with next-day delivery from a Brandenburg warehouse. Last orders possible on June 29. Oda explained the unexpected move with a “change in strategy” and said 167 employees would lose their jobs.
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Sixty years and a day ago, US President John F. Kennedy spoke from the steps of Rathaus Schöneberg just a few months after construction of the Berlin Wall by East Germany. The stauchly anti-communist, anti-Soviet speech held on June 26, 1963 included the famous phrase: “Ich bin ein Berliner” (which literally means “I’m a donut”) was met by jubilation from the 120,000 West Berliners watching.
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