#207: Getting dual citizenship, making Görli nice, over-filled schools
A terror attack in West Berlin
Hey 20 Percent!
Germany’s ruling coalition this week tóok a major step toward making it easier for y’all to leave the 20 Percent, that is, the 20% of Berliners who don’t have a German passport (it’s actually 22% now but we’re waiting for our domain to expire to update our brand).
The pols unveiled a law that will allow dual citizenship — it’s currently forbidden for most. Immigrants/expats could also apply for citizenship after just three years if they’ve put some effort into acting like our fellow Teutons, mostly by attending integration classes and learning their der, die, das.
Others will have to wait five years before they apply, down from eight currently.
Since I’ve been here forever only the dual citizenship is attractive to me. And Germany owes it to me. To my own disappointment, I’m often a better German than many Germans (I could win a trash separation championship against the best Jürgens, Klauses and Ursulas). Chancellor Olaf should have brought me a passport years ago on his way to work one morning.
Many conservatives say you can’t feel allegiance to two countries at once but I like both red and white wine so I don’t understand the conundrum.
The new law now has to make it through the Bundestag, probably within a few months. Then they have to figure out how to implement it and then we all get to get in line at the new Berlin naturalization office. I expect to have my passport in 2025, maybe 2026.
Have a good weekend — it’s Zug der Liebe this weekend, the latest mass open air rave. I’m on vacation in Astoria, Oregon, so I’ll unfortunately miss it.
P.S. A warm welcome to our new sponsor, LEVEL Construction & Property Consultancy. Find out more below.
Mo kids mo problems
Berlin schools are facing a dual conundrum of their own. First, more young Berliners will be in school when school starts again Monday than ever before — about 395,000, or 6,500 than last year, mostly because of the number of Ukrainian refugees, RBB reports. However, the system is lacking just under 1,400 teachers, and has for about a decade, in part because Germany thinks only German teaching credentials matter. That shortfall, coupled with corona, leads to the second issue — four out of ten third-graders lack basic knowledge of German and math, according to recent tests. It’s not believed they will ever be able to catch up. And about 60% of eighth graders who are planning to leave school after 10th grade lack German grammatical knowledge and up to 77% fall short in math, Tagesspiegel reports (paywall). Officials expected corona to have left a mark but not this bad of a mark.
Görli but without all the Görli
Berlin’s interior minister Iris Spranger (SPD) thinks Görlitzer Park needs more than just dual solutions to end its global reputation as a drugs supermarket and crime hotspot following an alleged group rape at the end of June. Pranger told Inforadio Tuesday she wants to add more lighting and a perimeter fence that will allow officials to close the park at night. Landscaping should also be better maintained so dealers won’t have anywhere to bunker supplies. Video cameras at the entrances will also keep tabs of who comes and goes. She said she dreams of it becoming a “model park” (it’s already a great model of how not to park). Mayor Kai Wegner(CDU) has already called a security summit at the end of next month to gather ideas.
Immigrant cook murdered
A woman who played a dual role in Berlin’s Thai food scene was found murdered about a week ago in Schöneberg. 61-year-old Siliya R. was found dead by a nearby hotel worker, Morgenpost reported, who then called police shortly before 1am. Siliya first ran a stand at the popular, semi-legal Thaipark in Wilmersdorf and then opened the Thai Art restaurant on Kantstr. in Charlottenburg. A reader wrote to say friends are concerned the Polizei isn’t taking the case seriously enough and though I’m no huge fan of German justice, the cops usually do a good, if inexplicably slow, job when it comes to serious crime.
A bomb exploded on August 25, 1983 in the Maison de France cultural center on Kurfürstendamm in what was then West Berlin, killing one and injuring 23 others. The bomb was laid by Lebanese terrorist Mustafa Ahmed el-Sibai. German assassin Johannes Weinrich had planned the attack and enjoyed the support of the East German secret police, the Stasi. As if that’s not crazy enough, the motive is even more bizarre — legendary French assassin Carlos, aka the Jackal, was trying to force the French government to release his German girlfriend Magdalena Kopp, who had previously been arrested in Paris while preparing an attack on an exiled Arabic publication. Weinreich is serving a life term in Berlin for a raft of terror attacks in the 70s and 80s.
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