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#54: Women's day, refugee help, excellent hospital
And gas prices are going up.
Happy International Women’s Day 20 Percent!
We include a factoid at the end of every newsletter that recounts some historical event or highlights an illuminating Berlin-related fact but let’s just lead with it today: Leftist politician Clara Zetkin organized Germany’s first International Women’s Day in 1911, following a similar event in 1907 in New York. Both were tied to suffrage and socialist politics. It’s now been a holiday for three years in Berlin — the only of Germany’s 16 states to declare it a day off. Left-wing politicians failed two weeks ago to make it a holiday in surrounding Brandenburg but the state celebrates a week of the woman.
Demonstrations planned for Tuesday include a mid-day bike protest at Mariannenplatz in Kreuzberg, a major demo starting at Wedding’s Leopoldplatz at 3pm and the laying of roses on the Clara Zetkin memorial in Clara Zetkin park in northeast Berlin.
In Germany, the holiday has its roots in the former East Germany and it has luckily spread since the Berlin Wall fell — credit where credit’s due.
Hope you’re having a nice holiday (the sun is shining!) and have a great week.
P.S: We’ve launched a page to help highlight ways to help Ukraine. We work to update it daily. If you have an event, way to donate or suggestion, please let us know.
The Berlin corona stats for Tuesday, March 8
Fully vaccinated: 77.5% (76.6% Friday)
Received booster: 58.5% (58.4% Friday)
New cases in one day: 5,575 (7,005 Friday)
Total deaths: 4,279 (+6 over Friday)
🔴 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,000): 853.1 (901.9 Friday)
🔴 7-day hospitalization incidence (also per 100,000): 14.5 (16.7 Friday)
🟡 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 11.1% (11.1% Friday)
Source: Berlin’s corona page
Politicians looking to help Berlin with refugees
Wolfgang Kubicki, the deputy chair of the business-friendly FDP, wants the federal government to meet with the heads of Germany’s 16 states to coordinate aid for refugees arriving from Ukraine, according to newswire dpa. The politician said he wanted the meeting after Berlin mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) made it clear the capital needed help caring for the thousands of refugees expected in Berlin. The meetings — known as the Bund-Länder-Runden — have been a staple for setting corona policy over the past two years. Berlin has asked Deutsche Bahn to send special refugee trains and buses to other parts of Germany to reduce the load on the capital — the government here as of Sunday is caring for 5,700 Ukrainian refugees. Most reportedly find places to stay with friends, relatives or volunteers. The federal interior ministry said at least 50,000 Ukrainian refugees have already arrived in Germany, though the figure could be higher since no border controls are in place.
Natural gas prices going up again
Gasag, Berlin’s largest natural gas company, Monday said it would increase its prices by 26 percent, the second increase in nearly as many months, Tagesspiegel reported. The utility said the increase would bump up the monthly bill for an average customer by €24 to just under €119. The figure was calculated before a reported 60 percent jump in wholesale gas prices over the weekend because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, meaning another increase is likely. Gasag increased its prices 16 percent in January as wholesale prices exploded — wholesale natural gas is now fivefold what it was a year ago, according to the paper.
Your health is (maybe) in good hands
If you happen to get sick in Berlin and end up at Berlin’s Charité university hospital, not only will your insurance cover it with little issue, you’re also at the sixth-best hospital in the world, according to US newsmag Newsweek. The Charité is also the highest-ranked European hospital in the list (though Sweden’s Karolinska university hospital comes in seventh). It’s admittedly odd to report on something from the English-speaking world here but it was German press that alerted us to the accolades.
And then there was one
Berlin’s other professional football/soccer team, Hertha BSC, is facing possible relegation to the second division after losing 1:4 at home against Eintracht Frankfurt Saturday, its fourth consecutive loss (and it hasn’t posted a win in the past eight games). The team is ranked 16th in the league — those that end the season in 17th and 18th place automatically tumble into the second division. Although fans want trainer Tayfun Korkut out, according to Berliner Zeitung, the team Monday instead said athletic director and former star player Arne Friedrich would step down immediately rather than retiring as planned at the end of the year. Berlin’s default womens pro team, Turbine Potsdam, is currently fifth in the Bundesliga.
Polizei investigating colleague for stalking
Just in time for Frauentag we’re reminded of how much work remains: A Berlin police officer has been suspended after his former girlfriend pressed charges against him last August for stalking and criminal mischief, the cops said Tuesday. Investigators say he also used police computers to illegally look up personal information on more than 10 people, including two other previous partners and those close to his ex. The officer is no longer on duty and no longer has access to official computer systems. Police said an internal investigation has been paused while detectives look at criminal charges.
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