#84: A100 expansion stopped, wildfires, squirtgun fight
And Indians were the biggest immigrant group in 2021
Hey 20 Percent!
A brief intro today. Tonight we’re throwing an informal party for readers. If you’re out and about, stop by Bar Tabac, Christinenstr. 24, in Prenzlauer Berg and have a drink with me and Maurice. The bar has its own Fête de la Musique event with live music and we thought it would be a good opportunity to get to know some of you. Our Patreon donors get a free drink. If you can’t make it, don’t fret, the next party will be in September when (or if?) we celebrate our first birthday.
And, if you like stand-up comedy, head over to Z Bar in Mitte Thursday. I’m linking up with funny colleague and good friend Carmen Chraim for Accidentally German, an evening of stand-up comedy where we spend about 45 minutes each telling jokes and anecdotes about life as a 20-percenter. Get your tickets here. Also more info below.
Get out and enjoy your hood on the longest day of the year — here’s a quick guide to Fête de la Musique tonight.
Have a good week,
The Berlin corona stats for Tuesday, June 21
Received booster: 61.4% (61.4% Friday)
New cases in one day: 4,330 (2,033 Friday)
Total deaths: 4,635 (+2 over Friday)
🔴 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,000): 334.1 (288.6 Friday)
🟡 7-day hospitalization incidence (also per 100,000): 4.9 (4.4 Friday)
🟢 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 2.9% (3.2% Friday)
Source: Berlin’s corona page
SPD: No to A100, yes to expropriation
Berlin’s center-left SPD (the city-state’s largest governing party) met Sunday to re-elect its current leadership duo and consider the party’s future direction. Raed Saleh and mayor Franziska Giffey kept their co-leadership positions but with just under 60% of the members voting for them — when first elected two years ago, about 90% were in favor. The party also agreed to pass a law to allow the government to expropriate large blocks of corporate-owned Berlin flats in keeping with a public referendum last year. That is, if a committee considering the proposal says it’s possible. Mayor Giffey is against the idea so her party turning against her is … dramatic. The Berlin SPD has also agreed to kill the extension of the A100 city autobahn into the northern areas of the city, instead leaving room for residential real estate, culture, parks and commerce — in short, people over cars.
Speaking of housing policy
A volunteer committee of landlords, flat builders and renters’ associations (Wohnungsbündnis) called together by mayor Giffey Monday signed an agreement to limit rent increases on existing stock to 11% within three years and build an additional 100,000 flats by 2027, 50% of which are to be in the mid-to-low rent sectors. A number of other steps were agreed but the Berlin Tenants’ Association as well as a real estate lobbying group refused to sign the deal — the tenant association because it doesn’t go far enough and because it’s non-binding and the lobbying group because it’s not fair to commercial interests, according to Tagesspiegel.
Uncontrolled wildfires under control
Fire crews are continuing to extinguish embers and flare ups after two uncontrolled wildfires forced evacuations in parts of Brandenburg near Potsdam this weekend. About 100 people are working to fully extinguish a fire in Treuenbriezen while 300 are busy in Beelitz, according to newswire dpa. The recent heavy rains brought both fires under control.
Squirt guns lead to massive fisticuffs
Anyone with siblings — or two or more kids — will recognize the behaviour: What began as a squirtgun fight Sunday at Sommerbad am Insulaner in Steglitz escalated into a massive brawl among an estimated 100 people, according to the Berlin fuzz. Since adults can’t be sent to their rooms, 13 police cars responded and ultimately four people were cited for really, really breaching the peace (schweren Landfriedensbruchs) as well as assault. One of the suspects told cops he had been cut with a knife, though police don’t appear to have found a weapon.
Indians leading the way to Berlin
Indians were the largest group of foreigners that moved to Berlin in 2021, according to RBB24. Some 19,744 Indians now call the German capital home, nearly three times as many as in 2017, and Indians reportedly form the largest group of non-Germans in 8 of Berlin’s 12 boroughs. Want more statistics? In September 2021, 10,687 Indians had jobs that came with compulsory social contributions (unemployment, healthcare, pension etc.), the biggest group of non-European Berlin residents. The Indian embassy told RBB24 that most came to either work or study. It’s part of why the 20 percent is now actually 21 percent!
On this day (June 21) in 2012, workers broke ground on the Humboldt Forum/fake palace that replaced the Palast der Republik (above), which had been left over from East Germany and had housed the Volkskammer, the East German parliament, as well as various leisure facilities after opening in 1976. The Palast der Republik replaced the original Hohenzollern palace, which was heavily damaged in WWII.
Event recommend: Accidentally German
The problem with living in Germany as long as Carmen and Drew have is that you accidentally become German. Always waiting for the green pedestrian light. White asparagus in April. And screaming at tourists to get off the bike path. Come out for an evening with two veteran Berlin English-language comics and join them for a hilarious look at their own German-ness. See them while you can – you never know when they’ll decide to invade Poland. Doors open at 8.30pm. Show starts at 9pm. Show brought to you in collaboration with: Comedy in English Berlin and Queen Bees Comedy. TICKETS