In Brief: SPD party leader steps down, new police bike patrols coming to Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg

SPD leader Andrea Nahles steps down, State Audit Office releases annual report, and police bike patrols expand to Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. Find out more in your KCRW Berlin News Brief.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

 

Photo by Ansgar Scheffold on Unsplash

Andrea Nahles has announced she’s resigning as SPD party and parliamentary faction leader. This comes after the Social Democrats suffered considerable losses in the European Parliament elections.

Foreign policy expert Rolf Mützenich will temporarily take over as SPD parliamentary leader. Meanwhile, Nahles’s position as head of the Social Democrats will be shared by three politicians until a permanent replacement is found.

The Social Democrats got 15.8% of the vote in the recent European elections, a drop of more than 11% from the last EU elections in 2014.

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An annual report from the State Audit Office has found that the Berlin Senate and districts are too frivolous with government funds.

One trouble area? Elevated costs for construction projects due to insufficient planning. And the report shows in several districts, tax offices did not properly audit questionable tax returns.

The State Audit Office says they will provide recommendations for the Senate and Berlin districts to make improvements.

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Police bike patrols are coming to Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, expanding existing patrols in Mitte and Tiergarten. The police officers are looking out for motorists and cyclists who are illegally parked, run red lights, or commit other offenses.

The police bike force was piloted five years ago between Alexanderplatz and the Government Quarter.

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