Social Democratic Party of Germany

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany: New mayor decided by lot after both candidates get exact same number of votes
Germany: New mayor decided by lot after both candidates get exact same number of votes
Credit: Courtesy of Facebook / Stephan Hänes

In the municipality of Ahnatal in Hesse, the mayoral election has been decided by chance. The candidates from the social democratic party SPD and Christian democratic union CDU had received the exact same number of votes. In this case, Hesse's municipal regulations provide for a decision by lot.

The candidate of the SPD, Stephan Hänes, has subsequently been drawn and won.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Leader of the German Green party criticises potential collaboration of CDU and AfD in controversy about broadcast license fee.
Robert Habeck
Robert Habeck Credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

After warnings from the SPD, the leader of the German Green party, Robert Habeck, also warned the CDU in Saxony-Anhalt to not collaborate with the right-wing AfD in the ongoing discussion about the planned raise of the broadcast license fee.

The CDU in Saxony-Anhalt is strictly against the raise and could prevent it if they joined forces with the AfD in the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt because every federal state has to approve the raise.

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
German minister of labour and social affairs Hubertus Heil no longer demands right to home office
German minister of labour and social affairs Hubertus Heil no longer demands right to home office
Credit: Olaf Kosinsky / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 DE)

In the ongoing discussion inside of the grand coalition about employees' right to home office, German minister of labour and social affairs, Hubertus Heil from the Social Democratic Party said that he no longer demands an enforceable right to 24 days of home office for every employee working in a position in which working from home is possible. Heil says, he tries to meet the coalition partner, the conservative Union halfway with this waiver and hopes for their support for his draft "Mobile Labour Law". The CDU/CSU rejects any legal reglementation of home office.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
German Social Democratic party proposes creation of independent EU army
German Social Democratic party proposes creation of independent  EU army
Credit: unsplash.com / Daniel Stub

According to a paper of the Working Group on Security and Defence Policy, quoted by "Welt am Sonntag", the SPD calls for the introduction of a "28th EU army". The force would be directly subordinated to the European Commission and would be under the responsibility of a newly appointed Commissioner for Defence.

"Our aim is to improve the EU's ability to act, regardless of the tiresome questions of sovereignty," Fritz Felgentreu, defence policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, told the newspaper.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Friedrich Merz 'regrets' controversial gay chancellor remarks
Friedrich Merz
Friedrich Merz Credit: Olaf Kosinsky (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

German politician Friedrich Merz says he now "regrets" comments made when asked whether he would have reservations if an LGBT+ chancellor were to lead Germany.

During a video interview for the Bild newspaper, Merz replied to the question with: "No. Concerning the question of sexual orientation, as long as it is within the law and does not affect children — which at this point, for me, would be an absolute limit — it is not an issue for public discussion."

Merz is the leading candidate for the position of chair of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU). Whoever is selected for the role would likely become the party's candidate to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor.

Merz' answer sparked an outcry from German politicians, especially as one of his rivals for the position of CDU chair, Health Minister Jens Spahn, is openly gay.

Another gay politician, deputy chair of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), Kevin Kühnert tweeted: "This is how someone works who cannot hide the fact that he cannot deal with the normalization of homosexuality."

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Social Democratic Party of Germany nominates finance minister as chancellor candidate to try to succeed Merkel after 2021 elections
Social Democratic Party of Germany nominates finance minister as chancellor candidate to try to succeed Merkel after 2021 elections
Credit: Olaf Kosinsky (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 DE)

The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) has announced that Olaf Scholz, currently finance minister in the cabinet under Angela Merkel, will headline the election efforts of his party with the goal of becoming chancellor after the general elections in 2021.

Angela Merkel has previously announced that the current term will be her last one. The SPD is the first party to nominate their front-runner for the elections.

Law
Hessen: Every eighth worker in the prison system has a part-time job

According to a parliamentary request from the SPD, every eighth prison worker in Hessen has a part-time job. Especially in the security service, but also as a driving instructor, waiter or appraiser, around 89.5 percent of employees with part-time jobs are even full-time employees.

According to the union, the main reason is the low wages in the prison system.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Berlin regional government accused U.S. government of "modern piracy"

German officials said a shipment of 200.000 N95 face masks destined for Berlin was seized at Bangkok airport and diverted to the U.S.

Berlin Interior Minister Andreas Geisel called the incident an act of “modern piracy.” Berlin Mayor Michael Müller, a Social Democrat, said: “the actions of the U.S. president are…inhumane and unacceptable.”