In Brief: Berlin Senate considers locking up Görlitzer Park overnight to deter drug dealers

Berlin’s Interior State Secretary Torsten Akmann said building a fence around Görlitzer Park and locking it at night could help deter drug dealers from doing business there. In other news, Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz defended his plan for the “Solidaritätszuschlag.”

Photo by Lena Varzar on Unsplash

 

The Berlin Senate is considering building a fence around Kreuzberg’s Görlitzer Park and locking it up from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Berlin’s Interior State Secretary Torsten Akmann said it could be a good solution to deterring drug dealers from doing business there. But he also questioned if the drug trafficking would simply move to nearby areas, like Wrangelstraße or the Oberbaumbrücke.

***

On Monday, Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz defended his plans for the “Solidaritätszuschlag” (in English, the solidarity tax). The tax initially started in 1991 after German reunification and continued in 1995. It was meant to offset the costs of bolstering infrastructure in the former East.

According to the proposal, 90% of people would no longer have to pay the tax at all.

Scholz said everyone knows the Solidarity Pact is coming to an end in 2019 but by no means is Germany’s role over in ensuring that the economic development of East German states is on equal footing. He said there are still duties to fulfill.

Meanwhile, some politicians in the CDU/CSU and FDP are calling for a complete end to the solidarity tax. The tax brought in 18.9 billion euros in 2018.
This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.  

By the way – If you love our content, please consider donating to KCRW Berlin. We are a listener-funded public radio station, driven by supporters like you. Your donation supports our programming and events, feeding a flourishing English language community with local news, information and ideas.