Tegel Gets A Referendum


Berliners will get to vote on whether to keep Tegel open after the campaign to save the airport collected enough signatures to trigger a referendum. But even if Berlin votes yes in September, it doesn’t mean that Tegel will actually stay open due to complicated legal reasons.

The past March was one of the warmest in recorded history, at an average temperature of 8 degrees. The winter was also unusually warm. Bee-keepers in Berlin and Brandenburg are reporting that 40% of their hives have died as a result, due to the growth of the varroa destructor parasite.

Want to take a ride on Berlin’s first cable car? Head along to the International Garten Ausstellung, opening in Marzahn on April 13. The 1.5km cable car will transport guests into the garden show, and is free to ride with a ticket to the IGA. It also gives a great view of the socialist Plattenbauten of East Berlin. More here: iga-berlin-2017.de

This episode of Radio Spaetkauf was presented by Joel Dullroy and Maisie Hitchcock, and brought to you by RadioEins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.

Cafe Filou Stays – Investor Renews Contract

By Joel Dullroy, Radio Spaetkauf

Kreuzberg bakery Cafe Filou has been spared from eviction after the property’s owner agreed to renew the contract. British investor Charles Skinner told Radio Spaetkauf he had experienced a change of heart following talks with retiring Green party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele.

“In the end we saw reason, Mr. Skinner said. “A lot of mistakes have been made along the way, not just by us but from them, from everybody. I think there’s going to be a good coming together.”

Mr. Skinner said he would now work with Mr. Ströbele to create a fair commercial property contract to give business tenants an automatic renewal. While residential property leases in Berlin are well protected by law, commercial leases remain vulnerable.

“It’s not a financial thing, it’s a moral thing… I would like to design a different kind of contract for commercial properties whereby they get an automatic renewal rather than something that just goes down to zero, and people like me can just say ‘no’,” Mr. Skinner said.

Cafe Filou co-owner Nadja Wagner confirmed that they had received a verbal agreement from Mr. Skinner that the contract would be renewed. While the details are yet to be finalized, Ms. Wagner said she expected the rent to remain unchanged, and the contract to be valid for several years with extension options.

“We’re pleased with the outcome,” Ms. Wanger said. “It is only because of the support of the neighbourhood that we have been able to come so far.”

Mr. Skinner praised the role played by Clare D’Orsay, the operator of Vertikal restaurant, which sits next door to Cafe Filou on Reichenberger Straße, and is also Mr. Skinner’s tenant.

“She was relentless in getting us to keep the Cafe Filou operators,” Mr Skinner said.

Clare D’Orsay spoke on the latest Radio Spaetkauf podcast about the violence and vandalism she had experienced from misguided protesters who had targeted her business due to its proximity to Cafe Filou.

Ms. D’Orsay said she had been spat at, pushed to the ground and had her windows smashed by an organized group for being a foreigner opening a nice looking restaurant in Kreuzberg.

The 32-year old New Yorker moved to Berlin seven years ago and has run other businesses in the neighbourhood. She pointed out that Restaurant Vertikal did not displace any existing business, as the building was recently constructed on an empty corner lot.

Ms. Wagner from Cafe Filou said she hoped the attacks against Vertikal would cease, and that the restaurant would be integrated into the community.

Listen to the full Radio Spaetkauf podcast to hear more:

RS Live: The Ugly Side of Anti-Gentrification

Restauranteur Clare D’Orsay is a victim of anti-gentrification violence. She has been unfairly targeted by protesters angry about the planned eviction of Cafe Filou in Kreuzberg. Her restaurant Vertikal is next door, but has nothing to do with the eviction. On this show Clare talks about the attacks against her business at the hands of misguided protesters.
Clare says she’s been spat at, pushed to the ground and had her windows smashed by an organized group for being a foreigner opening a nice looking restaurant.

Investors Charles Skinner also joined the show to announce he’s reached an agreement with Cafe Filou and will allow them to stay. Mr. Skinner said he decided to renew the contract after appeals from Green party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele and Ms. D’Orsay. “In the end we saw reason,” Mr. Skinner said.

Maisie is one of 480 British citizens trying to apply for a German passport to ensure she can stay after Brexit. Unsurprisingly she’s run into bureaucratic hurdles. Mark Whiley from Forward Britain joined the show to talk about what despairing Brits can do to create political pressure back home to try to mitigate the effect of Brexit. Visit http://www.forwardbritain.de

This show was recorded live at Comedy Cafe Berlin on Sunday March 19 2017, and was hosted by Maisie Hitchcock, Jöran Mandik, Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern.

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Child of the Poster Child

Hang on to your wallet on the U6 and U8. Crime stats show they’re the hottest U-Bahn lines for pickpockets. While wallet theft is up, crime rates in Berlin have remained stable – not bad, since the city is growing.

Bicycle activists have long complained that Berlin’s €10 parking fines are too cheap. Now a study has found it costs the city €10.38 to process a parking ticket. Should the city charge more, or give up issuing fines?

Strikes are continuing at Berlin airports, where workers are demanding an immediate €1 pay rise per hour, while ground service companies are offering €0.27 a year over three years. Ryanair has escalated the situation by flying in a plane load of Irish strike breakers.

Hear more about drama at the BER airport at our next live show at 5.30pm, Sunday March 19 at the Comedy Cafe Berlin in Neukölln.

This episode was hosted by Jöran Mandik and Daniel Stern, and presented by RadioEins.

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Citizen’s Arrest? Not on the U8

Ever wanted to make a citizen’s arrest? Don’t try it in Berlin. A local politician attempted to rally an U-Bahn carriage to help detain an alleged pickpocket, but was ignored by his fellow U8 passengers.

New fatter U-Bahn carriages are now being rolled out on some lines. The new model type is nicknamed the “Icke.” That name has nothing to do with David Icke, the conspiracy theorist whose speaking event was recently cancelled by Berlin’s Maritim Hotel, which has declared itself politically neutral.

This episode was presented by Maisie Hitchcock and Daniel Stern, and brought to you by RadioEins.