#22: 2G everywhere, more property woes, expanding BER
and a brief suggestion for a pro-vaccination advertising campaign.
Germans love to trot out a phrase from their constitution about human dignity being untouchable (Die Würde des Menschen ist unantastbar) because it applies to everything from human rights violations to why a six-year-old doesn’t have to try their peas - or vaccinations. I thought of it last night as English-language media began scratching its head over why German-speaking Europe lags the rest of the Continent in vaccinations (the journos are especially stumped because they’ve spent the last decade penning breathless pieces about how Germany is a gleaming bastion of sanity).
I would argue that vaccination could help you keep your dignity (German hospital food anyone?) but may I suggest a new advertising campaign playing on this love of WÜRDE? The dignity of humanity is also untouchable, so go get vaccinated, you selfish yob (Die Würde der Menschheit ist unantastbar, also lass dich impfen, du Horst). Apologies of course to any Horsts among our readership. Frau Dr. Merkel, I’ll let you use my idea in exchange for dual citizenship. I think that’s fair.
Also: The word “lockdown” has now spread from the mouths of virologists to at least one ruling German politician (Saxony premier Michael Kretschmer (CDU)) because of the exploding Covid-19 numbers in his state (see below). It’s probably going to spread even more quickly, not unlike the coronavirus during a basement meeting of anti-vaxxers. We’ll keep you updated.
Have a good weekend,
The Berlin corona stats for Friday, November 12
Fully vaccinated: 67.7% (67.5% Tuesday)
New cases in one day: 2,185 (2,209 Tuesday)
Total deaths: 3,756 (+16 over Tuesday)
🔴 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,000): 279.2 (220.8 Tuesday)
🟢 7-day hospitalisation incidence (also per 100,000): 3.6 (3.5 Tuesday)
🟡 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 13.5% (12.4% Tuesday)
Source: Berlin’s corona information page
Berlin Wednesday expanded 2G regulations, making it difficult for the voluntarily unvaccinated to do much other than go shopping. The rules go into effect Monday and Berliners will have to be either vaccinated or recently recovered (2G = geimpft oder genesen) to attend any event indoors, be inside at a bar or restaurant, go to the gym or dance studio, visit a museum, go to a major event with more than 2,000 people outside (ergo: footie) and even get their hair done (or stop by a brothel). Retail is exempt from the expanded rules and Christmas markets can decide whether to be 3G or 2G. Politicians said they’ll step up enforcement but the police basically laughed - they’ve got enough to do, a union spokesman told Tagesspiegel.
Court says Berlin can’t buy the property either
The city’s boroughs have improperly exercised rights of first refusal when buying residential property ahead of private investors, a federal administrative court ruled earlier this week, removing yet another tool in the battle against rising rents. The court said Berlin’s 12 Bezirke can only snatch property away from investors when a clear risk exists - not because of an assumption that the new owner will raise rents or divvy up the building and sell each unit to the highest bidder. A classic cart-before-the-horse. Morgenpost said 89 apartments have been bought recently through right of first refusal, though not all would be illegal according to the court’s ruling.
BER brass learning that size matters
Unable to handle the capacity that everyone except the operators of BER foresaw, Berlin’s airport will soon-ish open Terminal 2 in attempt to alleviate never-ending bottlenecks. The announcement came in a crisis meeting with Germany’s outgoing transportation minister, according to newswire dpa, and included one caveat - it won’t happen until Easter. The airport in December will also begin using both runways and hopefully is already making plans and looking for financing to complete Terminals 3 and 4 and re-open Terminal 5 (which we all remember as Schönefeld). Environmental concerns? Sure - it would be better if Germany’s largest population didn’t first have to fly to Munich or Frankfurt to get somewhere (but also flew a lot less).
Oh right, coalition negotiations
While negotiations for Germany’s next government have encountered a few hiccups, talks to form Berlin’s new SPD-Grüne-Linke government (informally known as red-green-red) are progressing - negotiators are meeting as we write. The parties hope to complete a coalition agreement by Nov. 24 with a new government ruling in December. Presumptive-mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) would then also lose the “presumptive”.
Kurfürstendamm has no numbers 1-10. The short version is that part of the street had to be renamed Budapester Straße in the 1920s, eliminating numbers 1-9. Kurfürstendamm 10 disappeared in the Second World War and the space was claimed by Breitscheidplatz.