In Brief: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier calls for solidarity in society against anti-Semitism

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier calls for solidarity in society against anti-Semitism. In other news, average incomes are up across Germany, prompting increases in social security contributions for higher earners. Find out more in your KCRW Berlin News Brief.

Photo by Victoria Strukovskaya on Unsplash

 

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited the site of the gun attack in the city of Halle on Thursday. Steinmeier spoke outside the synagogue in Halle where a suspected right-wing extremist opened fire on the streets.

Steinmeier said, “To condemn such a cowardly attack is not enough. It must be clear that the state assumes responsibility for Jewish life, for the security of Jewish life in Germany and for society it must be just as clear. All of society must show a decisive attitude of solidarity.”

The suspected attacker shot two people on Wednesday. He could be seen on video expressing hate speech against foreigners, women and Jews. Jewish institutions across Berlin remain on high alert and under tighter security.

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Higher earners will pay higher social security contributions starting next year. According to Germany’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the increase is due to growth in average incomes across Germany.

Anyone earning more than 54,450 euros per year is affected, and could pay up to 552 euros more per year in social security.

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Just ahead of parliamentary elections in Poland this weekend, the EU Commission has launched another lawsuit against Poland, challenging changes made to the Polish justice system. The EU Commission said it wants to “protect judges from political control”.

Opposing EU law, in 2017 Poland’s right-wing conservative government implemented disciplinary measures that can be taken against judges based on their rulings. EU Commissioners say the independence of Poland’s Supreme Court is in question.

The lawsuit is one of several to be brought before the European Court of Justice challenging Poland’s judicial overhaul.

 

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

For an in-depth discussion on the upcoming elections in Poland and how the outcome may impact Germany and Europe, tune in this weekend to Studio Berlin, that’s Saturday at 10 AM and Sunday at 4 PM.