Bundestag

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany starts testing drive in bid to end lockdown
Germany starts testing drive in bid to end lockdown
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

The German Federal Government is expected to start paying for rapid tests starting next week, as part of the latest pandemic plan agreed to late Wednesday between Chancellor Angela Merkel and 16 state leaders to moving Germany out of lockdown.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn announced on Twitter the government had secured at least 200 million self-tests and 800 million rapid tests, of which 150 million are already in stock with suppliers.

"Opening schools without rapid tests will drive up the incidence rate," Karl Lauterbach, a Bundestag deputy for the Social Democrats (SPD) and an epidemiologist, wrote on Twitter.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
German government decides on implementation of an official lobby register
German government decides on implementation of an official lobby register
Credit: unsplash.com / Fionn Große

According to information from the ARD capital city studio, the German grand coalition has agreed on the introduction of an official lobby register. According to the report, professional lobbyists must in the future be registered in a database that is to be set up and maintained at the German Bundestag. Violations are to be punished with a fine of up to 50,000 euros.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany: Man charged with passing Bundestag blueprints to Russia
Germany: Man charged with passing Bundestag blueprints to Russia
Credit: Herman (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Federal prosecutors have charged a German citizen with passing blueprints and building plans of the Bundestag parliament to a suspected GRU agent in the Russian Embassy.

In a press release, Germany's federal prosecutor's office said the suspect worked for a company hired to check the electrical equipment by the Bundestag. In that role, the German national used his access to collect data and pass it on to "an employee in the Russian Embassy in Berlin, who mainly works for the Russian military secret service GRU," between late July and early September 2017.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
German Bundestag has spent €1,4 million to secure private homes of MPs
Bundestag
Bundestag Credit: Herman (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

After an increase of 15% in attacks on politicians compared to 2019, around 100 members of the Bundestag have resorted to the offer of the Federal Criminal Police Office to secure private apartments or houses.

In the current legislative period, the Bundestag has spent around 1.4 million euros on security technology, each member has a budget of 19,000 euros.

Climate & Environment
German Bundestag votes for law banning plastic bags from 2022 on
German Bundestag votes for law banning plastic bags from 2022 on
Credit: unsplash.com / Christopher Vega

German Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) has stated that "The plastic bag is the epitome of a waste of resources" following the decision to ban plastic shopping bags in supermarkets from 2022 on.

The ban will affect plastic shopping bags with a wall thickness of 15 to 50 micrometers - these are the standard bags usually available at the cash register. The only exceptions are the thin plastic bags that for example are found in the fruit and vegetable department.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany: Ex-AfD faction spokesman Christian Lüth secretly filmed talking about the gassing of migrants

The former press spokesman of the AfD Bundestag faction who has been on leave since spring, Christian Lüth, has been dismissed with immediate effect. Previously a video of him had been aired in a TV documentary where he speaks of "shooting" and "gassing" in connection with migrants.

Law
Protection of the Constitution: Event at the Reichstag could not be foreseen
Reichstag
Reichstag Credit: Dennis Jarvis (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

After an analysis, the Berlin Office for the Protection of the Constitution classified the events on the stairs of the Reichstag on August 29, in the context of the Corona demonstration in the House of Representatives. According to the security authorities, the action was spontaneous and unpredictable. There were announcements on the Internet, but these were classified as verbal aggression together with the State Criminal Police Office.

A total of around 2,500 to 3,000 people from the Reich citizen scene and other right-wing extremist organizations took part in demonstrations in Berlin this weekend.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany criminalizes upskirting and pictures of accident victims
Bundestag plenar hall
Bundestag plenar hall Credit: Andreas Praefcke (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

The German parliament Bundestag has criminalized taking nonconsensual pictures under skirts or dresses. Under current legislation, it hadn't been illegal in most cases while under new legislations the perpetrators can be sentenced to up to two years of prison time. The same penalties will be applied to taking pictures and photographs of deceased accident victims as the current legislation only protected survivors.

Law
Military Counterintelligence (MAD): New Dimension of Right-Wing Extremism in the German Bundeswehr
Military Counterintelligence (MAD): New Dimension of Right-Wing Extremism in the German Bundeswehr
Credit: "Yellow line" by photoheuristic.info (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In a public parliamentary hearing in the Bundestag, the President of the MAD had to admit that patriotism in the Bundeswehr continues to be a difficult issue. The Bundeswehr is currently counting a total of 600 suspected cases from right-wing extremism to "Reichsbürgertum". The focus of the activities is currently still the Special Forces Command (KSK), where the investigators focus on around 20 people.

According to the MAD president the goal must be that the "wall of silence" cracks.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Arson attack on German parliament building
Representative picture of the Reichstag building
Representative picture of the Reichstag building Credit: unsplash.com / Christian Lue

Unknown suspects have tried to light a chipboard on the east side of the German Reichstag on fire. The board had replaced a broken window and the suspects placed flammable fluid on it and lit it up. The fire brigade was dispatched with a contingent of 50 people but the chipboard didn't catch fire and the fire brigade didn't need to intervene. The deployment was over after 30 minutes. At this point it is unclear if the suspects have been filmed by video cameras and the police state security is investigating.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany wants to support businesses with 750 billion Euros in Emergency Aid

The German government presented a plan to help all kinds of businesses, including small companies, freelancers as well as large businesses. The plan includes credit guaranties as well as direct investments into companies and special financial support for hospitals. Regulations regarding Germanys short-time work and welfare programs as well as bankruptcy rules will be eased, and landlords will no longer be able to evict due to missing rent payments. The German Bundestag and Bundesrat still needs to accept the plans.