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#215: Crooked cops, contacting the Ausländerbehörde, a new rent control initiative
The lion was real!
Hey 20 Percent!
I’m not very fanatical about conspiracy theories. They’re usually illogical and full of holes.
But there’s one conspiracy theory I keep encountering in my other lives as a father and comedian that I love: The theory that there was a lion and it belonged to the Abou-Chaker crime family in Kleinmachnow. According to the theory, after wrangling their feline friend, the family used something like the Jedi Mind Trick® (or old-fashioned threats) to tell the Berlin police — and other officials — that what they actually saw was a wild boar.
I have been unable to convince either my own children or anyone from Kleinmachnow that that theory is untrue.
And it’s easy to say, hey the Polizei wouldn’t be that beholden to one of the city-state’s most notorious crime families. Except for the almost-weekly press releases that show that at last parts of the Polizei are beholden to some crime family: A 40-year-old cop was arrested Thursday, for example, for operating a car rental agency that provided cars to drug couriers, according to the police. Drugs are a big thing among Berlin’s crime families.
So I’m just going to believe the lion conspiracy theory.
Have a good weekend!
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Climate activists and the marathon
Fanatical Last Generation climate protestors are threatening to disrupt the tens of thousands of fanatical fitness freaks Sunday running the Berlin marathon, which already disrupts life in the Hauptstadt once a year. Police have pre-emptively forbidden protests at the event, sparking a legal appeal from the activists, who also noted they’re not bothered by the police and will protest anyway, according to the Morgenpost. Don’t plan on any new world records this year. Let this also serve as a general warning that the U-Bahn is your best mode of transport Sunday as the marathon legally does what the protestors usually do: mess up traffic.
Getting in touch to get your visa renewed
Ah, contacting the Ausländerbehörde aka Landesamt für Einwanderung. It too requires a certain level of fanaticism. Should you do it by fax? Or which email? The agency-we-all-love-to-hate has now created contact forms, ostensibly to speed up response times and end the terror that goes with trying to figure out how to contact them as your visa expires. The forms are divided up by type of visa, asylum reason or country which, honestly, just highlights the unnecessary complexity and opacity of Germany’s visa process. Just looking at the choices sparked a mini-anxiety attack. The site is helpfully only in German. Let’s hope the forms are one step forward instead of two back. Another link to the contact forms in case you missed the first one.
Another anti-corporate-landlord initiative
Voters may soon get a chance to vote directly on a law to limit corporate landlords to portfolios of no more than 3,000 flats and force the landlords to sell excess properties to the city and state of Berlin, according to Tagesspiegel (paywall). The fanatical activists, formally known as Deutsche Wohnen & Co. Enteignen, will announce the measure Tuesday and then begin collecting signatures to get the proposed law on a future ballot. Voters in 2021 approved a previous initiative from the group to ask politicians to create a similar law in hopes of reeling in out-of-control rent prices. But not-so-fanatical Berlin governments have dragged their feet, irking the activists. A government committee earlier this year said it thought such a law would be legal and the current administration has pledged to have Germany’s constitutional court review the resulting law next year but has made clear they would not force landlords to sell assets. If successful, the latest initiative would circumvent politicians and put the law on the books though it would still be reviewed by Germany’s traditionally landlord-friendly courts.
Ok, so the factoid today is all 20 Percent and very little Berlin but: immigrants in Germany have to make 50 percent more job applications than Germans for positions in Germany and are paid up to 25 percent less than Germans with similar qualifications (the average pay gap in the EU is 13%), according to a recent McKinsey study about the lack of diversity in the German workplace.
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