#247: "Remigration" meeting, Second attack in Görli, Saturday appointments?
Nobody wants to buy offices any more
Dear 20 Percent!
Wow, that was slippery. How many people have a co-worker with a fresh cast this morning? I coupled my Silly Little Walk for My Mental Health® with my commute last night and I had to mostly use the street because it was the only place that wasn’t an ice rink.
It’s almost like the GDL train engineer union teamed up with Jack Frost to increase the impact of its ongoing strike. Warmer temps today and this weekend mean the slick sidewalks should be a thing of the past by tomorrow — just like the strike, which ends at 6pm Friday.
Have a good slide into the weekend!
Neo-Nazis, AfD politicians meet in Potsdam
Sometimes it’s the news — rather than the ice — that feels slippery in Germany: A handful of right-wing AfD politicians met with hard-right idealists and neo-Nazis in Potsdam in November to discuss and raise cash for “remigration” — the mass deportation of immigrants, according to leftist news outlet Correctiv. A well-known Austrian neo-Nazi was part of the event, which asked attendees for donations of €5,000. AfD parliamentarian Gerrit Huy was at the fundraiser and has since said “remigration” only refers to the deportation of criminal immigrants. Why don’t I believe her? The only consequence so far from the event is the resignation of one of its sponsors from adviser roles at pervasive burger joint Hans im Glück and Pottsalat, a salad chain in western Germany. We’ll let you know how it develops (hopefully more rational politicians doing more to address the issues disenchanting voters).
Another attack in Görlitzer Park
And the other big news making it difficult to keep your footing is the report of yet another group rape in Görlitzer park. Police and prosecutors said they’re looking for witnesses to an attack by three men on Dec. 31, according to Tagesspiegel. If you saw something, please call the Polizei at 030 4664-913402. The victim was able to free herself and flee. The news comes just as preliminary crime statistics were released for 2023 and they’re slippery too. Overall crime is up 3% over 2022, the first post-pandemic year, according to the Morgenpost. Break-ins rose by 36% while domestic violence rose 10% with domestic violence resulting in injury up 12%. Crime in refugee centers jumped a breathtaking 50 percent, though that’s partially because the number of refugees rose about 21%. Threats and coercion increased 17% — Last Generation protestors most often face charges for coercion.
Register your address on a Saturday?
Some news is so surprising you momentarily lose your footing too: The head of digitalization in Berlin wants the Bürgeramt to open on Saturdays after our current government was unable to deliver on a promise of providing appointments within two weeks by the end of their first year (current wait time: 33 days), according to Tagesspiegel. Martina Klement, who bizarrely belongs to the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of the conservative CDU, will discuss the idea with other officials next week. Berlin bureaucrats actually pulled weekend shifts in 2021 to process a backlog of appointments. Bürgeramt officials say the problem isn’t opening times — it’s a lack of personnel. Slippery.
When walking on icy sidewalks you sometimes hit a patch with no ice and solid footing where you think, “Yeah, that feels right.” Kind of like today’s factoid: The market for commercial real estate (ergo: offices) collapsed in Berlin last year, likely because of Germany’s slowing economy coupled with rising interest rates. Last year investors bought just €899 million worth of commercial real estate in the Hauptstadt, down from €4.2 billion in 2022, according to rbb. Commercial real estate accounted for just 19% of the market last year, compared with 39% the previous year.
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