Tag Archives: GERMANY

The number of refugees in Germany has decreased for the first time in nine years

The Federal Ministry of the Interior linked the decrease in indicators with the expiration of the protection status, which was used by refugees with residence permits.

The number of refugees and migrants living in Germany with a guaranteed residence permit for a certain period decreased for the first time in nine years. This was announced by the newspaper Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung on Monday, October 5. She referred to the reply of the federal ministry of internal affairs to the inquiry of faction of the Left party in Bundestag.

According to the newspaper, the total number of this category is 1.31 million, which is about 50 thousand less than in the past six months. At the same time, there are 450 thousand asylum seekers and persons with delayed execution of orders leaving Germany. This is 15 thousand less than in the past six months.

Reason — expiration of the protection status

The FRG Ministry of Interior specified that the current decrease in the figures is due to the withdrawal or expiration of the protection status used by this group of refugees. At the same time, “a significant part of the” no longer lives in Germany.

Earlier it was reported that the EU toughens its policy on migrants. It is planned to control the borders more strictly and to screen out illegal migrants already at the entrance to the EU, as well as to ensure more effective integration of refugees.

Germany will mark the 30th anniversary of the country’s unification

Germany celebrates today the 30th anniversary of the country’s unification — the Day of German Unity, which is a national holiday and a day off.

On October 3, 1990, the eastern part of Berlin and five states of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) — Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia — became part of the Federal Republic of Germany. They began to be called “new” lands.

The ceremony dedicated to the Day of German Unity will take place in the administrative center of Brandenburg — Potsdam. It is this region that now presides over the Bundesrat (the house of representatives of the German federal states) and hosts the celebrations. Their common motto this year is “We are together with each other.”

The ceremony will be attended by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Head of the Bundesrat Dietmar Voidke, and heads of legislative and judicial authorities. First, the ecumenical service will take place, then Steinmeier and Voidke will deliver speeches.

This year, the pandemic is making adjustments to the organization of commemorative events. Usually, the Day of German Unity is accompanied by massive celebrations, folk festivals, but this time they will not be. Merkel, speaking this week in the Bundestag, complained that the anniversary would not be celebrated as planned a year ago.

The alignment process continues

30 years after unification, in terms of living standards, the east of Germany is still far behind the west. Every year German sociologists assess the living conditions in different federal states and publish the so-called happiness index. According to it, they determine where in the country life is better, and where is worse. From year to year, the picture remains the same — the population of the “new” lands is less satisfied with the reality.

More than €2 trillion has been spent on the process of uniting and leveling the standard of living in euro terms. The Ifo Institute for Economic Research has calculated that 60% to 65% of the total was allocated by the German government to social spending, primarily to raise pensions in the east of the country. About €14.5 billion has been spent on various programs to stimulate the economy of the “new” lands.

The DPA this week calculated that the highest pensions in the western states of Saarland and North Rhine-Westphalia are on average €1,530 after 35 years of pension contributions. They are lowest in the four eastern lands — from €1292 to €1300. The average pension throughout Germany is €1,413.

According to a study conducted in 2019 by the Hans Bockler Foundation, the work of residents in the east of Germany is still paid worse. Thus, citizens in the west earn on average 16.9% more, performing similar duties as their compatriots in the east.

The Korber Foundation, for its part, cites the opinion of 70% of residents of the republic, who believe that the process of reunification of the country is not over yet. Seven out of 10 survey participants indicated that there are still noticeable differences between the population of the former GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Incomplete merge?

Two-thirds of Germany’s residents believe that the reunification process is, in fact, not yet complete. These are the results of a public opinion poll conducted by the YouGov Sociological Institute. 64% of respondents believe that the difference in living standards in the east and west of Germany is still too large. Only 24% hold the opposite point of view, 12% are undecided.

At the same time, 60% of the survey participants as a whole positively assess the fact that the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany managed to reunite, 29% adhere to the opposite point of view.

Ahead of the anniversary, Thuringian Prime Minister Bodo Ramelov urged East Germans to be more confident. “It seems to me that they could have behaved louder, more energetic and more self-confident,” he said in an interview with Die Welt. “.

About date

Initially, the holiday in honor of the unification of the country was planned to be held on November 9 — the day the Berlin Wall fell. However, it was decided to abandon this idea, since the date is associated with a dark period in the history of Germany — in 1923, on this day, the Beer Putsch took place (an attempted coup d’etat undertook by Adolf Hitler and General Erich Ludendorff), and on the night of November 10, 1938, in dozens of cities of Germany were Jewish pogroms — Kristallnacht. For this reason, a different date was chosen for the holiday — October 3, associated with the de facto unification of the FRG and the GDR in 1990.

Germany has added Belgium to the list of risk zones due to increased COVID-19 infections

The German government has included the entire Belgian territory in the list of risk zones because of the growing number of new infections with coronavirus. Citizens of Germany are strongly advised not to travel to the kingdom.

Also, Iceland, France, certain regions of Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Ireland, Romania, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom have been added to the list of risk zones.

Lithuania urges Germany to abandon Nord Stream 2

Nord Stream 2 will increase Europe’s dependence on gas from Russia, Vilnius recalled

Lithuania called on the European Union to tighten sanctions against Russia in connection with the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and on Germany to block the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

This is stated in the decision of the Seimas of Lithuania adopted on Thursday, September 24.

The document recalled that the gas pipeline laid along the bottom of the Baltic Sea “has no economic basis and is a geopolitical project that will increase Europe’s dependence on natural gas supplied by the Russian Federation.”

“We call on the EU to apply sanctions as soon as possible on the type of the so-called Magnitsky act against individuals and the Russian regime for violations of human rights,” the document says.

The Seimas also called on the EU “to continue supporting Russian dissidents, non-governmental and civic organizations, independent media and independent journalists.”

Recall, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Nord Stream 2 poses a risk for Europe, since it becomes dependent on gas from Russia, and also threatens Ukraine.

Earlier we reported that Slovakia called the abandonment of Nord Stream 2 and gas transit through Ukraine a guarantee of European security.

Germans blocked Tesla’s path to Europe

The Germans opposed the construction of a Tesla electric car plant in Germany and blocked Elon Musk’s path to Europe. Bloomberg writes about it.

This is an enterprise that is being built in the German region of Brandenburg. It should become the first plant of an American manufacturer in Europe and begin producing electric vehicles in the summer of 2021. However, the project faced resistance from local residents and environmentalists, who filed over 400 complaints against Tesla.

They are unhappy with the prospect of an increase in freight traffic, large-scale deforestation to clear the construction site, and also express concerns about the reduction of water resources due to a large enterprise nearby. Locals say the region is already experiencing water shortages amid droughts.

On Wednesday, September 23, the local municipality began hearings on complaints about the Tesla project, which involves local residents, representatives of the company, and the departments responsible for the environment and water resources. Hearings are required for final approval of the plant design. If Tesla does not receive permission, the company will have to curtail construction and dismantle already installed structures.