In Brief: New proposal would freeze Berlin rents, EU Commission recommends disciplinary proceedings against Italy

The city makes strides in creating a so-called rent cap, and the EU Commission angles to crack down on Italy’s debt. Find out more in your KCRW Berlin News Brief.

Photo by Mollie Lemm

 

A new proposal from Berlin Senator for Urban Development and Housing Katrin Lompscher would freeze rent prices in the city for five years.

The proposed rent cap, detailed in a paper released Wednesday to the Berliner Morgenpost, would exclude social housing and new apartments that haven’t been rented before. It would also permit landlords to apply for economic hardship allowances.

The plan has been criticized by CDU politician Christian Gräff who called the proposal half-baked and legally vulnerable, adding that it could lead to years of legal battles.

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The European Union Commission has recommended launching disciplinary proceedings against Italy due to the country’s high national debt.

Italy’s debt is the second highest in the EU after Greece, amounting to over 130 percent of its gross domestic product. Only 60 percent is allowed in the eurozone.

It’s possible Italy could face a fine of up to 3.5 billion euros.

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