You are here: Home » Tag Archives: germany (page 6)

Tag Archives: germany

Feed Subscription

Who’s still afraid of the secret police? East Germans shy away from Stasi files

For many people from the former GDR, the choice is anything but simple: dredge up ghosts of the past, or let them rest? Not everyone is keen to know who had dealings with the secret police. There is perhaps no country on earth as good at remembering as Germany. Its history is everywhere, from omnipresent statues and monuments to national days of mourning, the past is always mixing with the present. But there is one thing, it seems, many Germans would like to forget: just how much the East German secret police, or Stasi, knew about their lives. The Stasi were nothing if not meticulous. Having information on the minutiae of a suspicious person's life would prevent another uprising of the sort that workers staged against the East German government in 1953. That was the idea. It relied on a vast network of unofficial informants who were encouraged, or sometimes threatened, to denounce their family, friends and co-workers. The secret police were also skilled at invading the minds of the citizens they terrorized. After launching a campaign of indiscriminate arrests and sentencing to instill fear, they reeled back to a silent, widespread network of spies and data-gathering. "They created a mythology of fear to surround themselves. The fear in your head became almost as powerful as having an actual Stasi agent breathing down your neck," Dagmar Hovestädt, the spokeswoman for the National Commissioner for Stasi Records (BStU), told DW. The result of their obsessive surveillance and prolific record keeping is that the BStU is home to some 111 kilometers, or 68 miles, of documents. "If only for the sake of future generations, we need to have a clear understanding of what Communism meant in Germany," said none other than outgoing German President Joachim Gauck, who was the first BStU commissioner when it was set up in the immediate aftermath of reunification in 1991. "Every citizen who was a victim of the illegal regime should have the right to see his or her file." Ignorance is bliss? But have former East Germans really shied away from peering into the past, as new research from the Dresden University of Technology suggests? "We've had about three million requests for personal files, concerning about 2 million individual citizens […] if that's a small portion of 17 million East Germans is a matter of interpretation," said Hovestädt. The disinclination to look into the past was an understandable one, said Hovestädt, but she believes that most people who had seen their files were grateful for the chance to see the truth behind things like why they didn't get into a certain university program, or what happened to that friend who disappeared. "Some people don't want to know who betrayed them. But then others have said they learned that someone they thought informed on them actually protected them. You are able to fill in the blanks of your life." Ingrid, a school teacher who grew up in East Germany and has since moved abroad, told DW that it took her decades to finally gather the courage to look at her file. "The first twenty years, I didn't want to see it. You don't want to know if a friend, or your mother, said something against you. I've heard from others who found out that their husband or wife denounced them." She was forgiving, though, of those who spied for the Stasi. Not only were you trained from birth to please the state, but "you might be afraid for your family, or maybe you yourself did something wrong and needed to make it better. I had a friend who was dating an Irishman who went to our university, and she was afraid he would be deported if she didn't inform on people." 'It was like colonialism' Part of the problem, too, said Ingrid, was the comprehensive nature of the documents. "It's enormous. Photocopies of letters, comments from the local police, from the administration at my dormitory, from my professors and yes, from my family." "It's so cold, this bureaucratic language," she added. "And yet it's your life. I found out they even had details of a vacation we took to Prague. The people who worked at the Czech hotels had informed on our comings and goings." She also told the story of having her application to get married rejected upon the first request, which she hadn't even known about until she saw her file because the process took so long. Ingrid said the lack of interest in one's file could also be due to the fact that for many years after reunification, East Germans had a host of more urgent things on their plates. "You had a lot of other worries, like whether your university degree was still valid, whether your money was worth anything, what kind of health insurance you now needed." And then, on top of the psychological warfare waged by the Stasi, were the labor pangs of a new Germany, a burden that fell most heavily on the East. "It was like colonialism. Everyone acted like they were under occupation," Ingrid explained. "Suddenly, we were told that our culture, our reality, was history." Many Easterners developed "an us-versus-them mentality" that also kept them from reckoning with the crimes of the old GDR government. Nowadays, Dagmar Hovestädt said, many of the requests are coming from second- and third-generation descendants, for whom it is not so painful to dig up the past. "It's a psychologically delicate matter. That's why we're here. It's your choice."

For many people from the former GDR, the choice is anything but simple: dredge up ghosts of the past, or let them rest? Not everyone is keen to know who had dealings with the secret police. There is perhaps no country on earth as good at remembering as Germany. Its history is everywhere, from omnipresent statues and monuments to national ... Read More »

Donald Trump slams Angela Merkel’s refugee policy

US President-elect Donald Trump labeled German Chancellor Angela Merkel's stance on refugees a "catastrophic mistake." He said the policy would lead to even more countries leaving the European Union after Britain. President-elect Trump heavily criticized Chancellor Merkel's open-door policy on refugees in a joint interview published on Sunday with German tabloid newspaper "Bild" and British newspaper "The Times of London." "I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals, you know, taking all of the people from wherever they come from,” he said. "And nobody even knows where they come from. So I think she made a catastrophic mistake, very bad mistake.” In 2015 about 900,000 migrants, many coming from Syria, entered Germany after Merkel opened the country's doors, famously saying "we can do this." The bilionaire businessman said Germany had "got a clear impression" of the consequences of her policy from a Berlin terror attack that killed 12 people in December. Trump insisted he had "great ­respect” for Merkel and would start his presidency trusting the "fantastic leader," but that his trust might not last long. Brexit deal Trump promised he would offer the United Kingdom a trade deal within weeks of taking office to help make Brexit a "great thing”. "We're going to work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly. Good for both sides,” Trump said. "I will be meeting with [British Prime Minister Theresa May]. She's requesting a meeting and we'll have a meeting right after I get into the White House and it'll be, I think we're going to get something done very quickly.” May said on Saturday she would lead the country towards a "hard Brexit." Others will leave Trump warned that other countries in the 28-member EU would follow suit after Brexit because of immigration. "I think it's very tough,” he said. "People, countries want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity.” "If refugees keep pouring into different parts of Europe ... I think it's going to be very hard to keep it together because people are angry about it." He said the mass arrivals in 2015 were "the last drop that made the barrel overflow" in convincing British voters to back leaving the bloc in a June 24 referendum. "If they hadn't been forced to take in all of the refugees, so many, with all the problems that it... entails, I think that you wouldn't have a Brexit. This was the final straw that broke the camel's back." He further said the European Union had become "a vehicle for Germany”. Nato obsolete Trump described the NATO alliance as an "obsolete" organization. "I said a long time ago that NATO had problems. Number one it was obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago," he said. He insisted that NATO remained "very important to me," but that some NATO allies weren't paying enough. "We're supposed to protect countries. But a lot of these countries aren't paying what they're supposed to be paying, which I think is very unfair to the United States." "With that being said, NATO is very important to me. There's five countries that are paying what they're supposed to. Five. It's not much," he added. US contributions to NATO accounted for about 70 percent of spending by the bloc's nations. Taxes for BMW He threatened German carmaker BMW with a border tax of 35 percent on cars that it planned to build at a new plant in Mexico and export to the US. He told the German daily that BMW should instead build its new car factory in the US because this would be "much better" for the company. A BMW spokeswoman said a new plant in San Luis Potosi would build the BMW 3 Series starting from 2019. Merkel, who is facing elections later this year, criticized Trump's protectionist policies on Saturday, and earlier said there was no guarantee of cooperation between the two countries. "From the point of view of some of our traditional partners - and I am thinking here as well about the transatlantic relations - there is no eternal guarantee for a close cooperation with us Europeans," Merkel told an audience in Brussels. On Friday the outgoing US ambassador to the EU warned against Trump supporting the bloc's breakup, saying it would be "sheer folly." Trump was interviewed for "The Times of London" by prominent Brexit campaigner and conservative British member of parliament, Michael Gove; and for "Bild" by its publisher and former editor Kai Diekmann, a prominent German journalist who will soon depart the business.

US President-elect Donald Trump labeled German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s stance on refugees a “catastrophic mistake.” He said the policy would lead to even more countries leaving the European Union after Britain. President-elect Trump heavily criticized Chancellor Merkel’s open-door policy on refugees in a joint interview published on Sunday with German tabloid newspaper “Bild” and British newspaper “The Times of London.” ... Read More »

Bavarian government to release new refugee policy so ‘Germany remains Germany’

Amid an ongoing dispute with Berlin, Bavaria's government is due to finalize its proposal for Germany's refugee policy. As well as a yearly cap on refugee arrivals, Premier Horst Seehofer is calling for tighter borders. The ever-growing divide between Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), showed no sign of resolving itself on Saturday, with Munich's local newspaper the "Münchner Merkur" reporting that the Bavarian government is due on Tuesday to finalize its overall concept on refugee and immigration policy in Germany. The charter titled "So that Germany remains Germany" was reportedly written by CSU leader and Bavarian Premier Horst Seehofer. At the top of the agenda is the CSU's long-time demand for an upper-limit on the number of asylum seekers accepted in Germany - something Bavaria aims to achieve through EU quotas. For months, the CSU has called a yearly cap of no more than 200,000 refugees, a move that Merkel has repeatedly rejected. The debate has prompted an unwelcome divide in the so-called "Union" of conservative CDU and CSU - particularly in the year of Germany's federal election. Watch video02:10 CSU stands by demand for refugee cap (04.01.2017) Unrest among conservatives The CSU, which often takes more conservative stances than the CDU, has sharply criticized Merkel's open-door policies that allowed more than a million people to enter the country as refugees and migrants since 2015. Last month Seehofer even ruled out governing with Merkel's CDU should they refuse to introduce an upper limit on the number of migrants entering Germany. In an apparent attempt to calm the rumbling debate, Merkel's CDU proposed on Friday the idea of flexible annual targets for asylum seeker numbers. The Christian Democrats gave no precise numbers but called for Germany to set a new target each year based on the humanitarian situation in global crisis zones and Germany's ability to absorb newcomers. Alongside its refugee cap, the Bavarian state government is also proposing further restrictions on family reunions for refugees, possibly calling for asylum-seekers to secure a livelihood independent of state subsidies before being permitted to apply for family members to join them in Germany. The basic protection for migrants in old age should also be restricted if they have not spent the most important period of working life in Germany, the Bavarian government wrote, adding that asylum-seekers who commit a criminal offense in Germany also "forfeit their right to hospitality" and must be deported. 'Humanitarian responsibility' At the same time, however, the paper also states its commitment to the reception of refugees. "The admission of those in need of protection is a requirement of Christian and humanitarian responsibility," the document reads, adding that Germany must proceed with "zero tolerance against xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism." The charter also calls for the expansion of aid to developing countries, with Seehofer demanding an "African Act" from the European Union (EU). Aid programs can no longer be underfunded, the paper continues, noting that without the financial support, misery and distress would increase in refugee camps. Schengen under pressure In light of the terror attack on Berlin last month, the Bavarian government is also proposing tighter border controls. Twelve people were killed and almost 50 others injured, when a truck was rammed into a Berlin Christmas market. Police suspect Tunisian asylum-seeker and "Islamic State" (IS) sympathizer Anis Amri was behind the wheel. After fleeing the scene on Decmeber 19, Amri was able to cross Germany's border into the Netherlands and travel via France to Italy, where he was later killed in a police shootout in Milan. His unchecked travel was possible due to the Schengen Zone - the EU's borderless travel region. In light of the growing number of terror attacks, however, the Schengen agreement is being put under increasing pressure, with Merkel also ordering a comprehensive review of Germany's security infrastructure.

Amid an ongoing dispute with Berlin, Bavaria’s government is due to finalize its proposal for Germany’s refugee policy. As well as a yearly cap on refugee arrivals, Premier Horst Seehofer is calling for tighter borders. The ever-growing divide between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), showed no sign of ... Read More »

More asylum requests processed in Germany than rest of EU combined – reports

New figures show Germany received and processed more asylum requests in the first nine months of 2016 than the rest of the EU combined. Italy and France received the second and third highest number of requests. Figures released Tuesday by the EU statistics office, Eurostat, show that around 420,000 asylum requests were processed in Germany in the first nine months of 2016 - more than in all other 27 EU countries combined. A total of 756,000 asylum requests processed in the EU between January and September 2016, 55 percent of which were handled in Germany. Of the overall 988,000 EU asylum requests made in the same timeframe, around two-thirds were made in Germany. Figures vary, however, as to the exact number of requests made in Germany. Eurostat puts the number at 612,000, while the Federal Interior Ministry puts it at 658,000. Speaking to German newspaper Die Welt, which broke the story on Tuesday, Johannes Singhammer, one of the vice presidents of the German parliament, said: "The oft-quoted notion that Europe is shifting responsibility for taking in refugees to the southern countries simply doesn't hold when you look at the figures." The number's also "make clear that refugee crisis in Germany has not been overcome," Singhammer said. The number of asylum requests for 2016 does not necessarily reflect the number of refugees that entered Germany in the same period. Many of those who applied for asylum last year had already entered the country a year before, but had been unable to make a formal request. The German government recorded around 272,000 arrivals in the first nine months 2016 using its electronic registration system. Asylum in the rest of the EU Italy processed some 68,000 asylum requests in the first three quarters of 2016 while receiving around 85,000 requests. France processed nearly the same number at 63,000. Although Italy processed the second highest number of asylum requests, the total still only comes to less than one-sixth the amount processed in Germany. Denmark, meanwhile, saw a sharp decrease in the number of asylum applications, falling from roughly 21,000 in 2015 to 5,300 in the first nine months of 2016. The figures published by Eurostat and Die Welt also shows which other EU have fallen short when dealing with asylum cases. In Greece, the first European destination for many refugees that fled conflicts in the Middle East, the government processed just 7,600 of 30,000 asylum requests. When the migrant crisis broke out in 2015, Greece was widely used my incoming migrants as a transit country than a destination. However, with much of the Balkan route into central and western Europe since close off, the indebted country has struggled to provide basic provision to the some 50,000 migrants still housed in refugee camps.

New figures show Germany received and processed more asylum requests in the first nine months of 2016 than the rest of the EU combined. Italy and France received the second and third highest number of requests. Figures released Tuesday by the EU statistics office, Eurostat, show that around 420,000 asylum requests were processed in Germany in the first nine months ... Read More »

Relief in Germany as New Year passes without incident

Police have reported very little trouble during celebrations to mark the start of 2017 in Berlin and Cologne. Security was tightened following the Christmas market attack on December 19. Organizers of the New Year festivities in Germany's capital said hundreds of thousands of people were present on Saturday night, barely two weeks after Tunisian Anis Amri rammed a truck into a Berlin Christmas market. The Festmeile (party mile) which leads to the city's famous Brandenburg Gate, which was packed with revelers, was ringed by concrete barriers in an attempt to prevent similar rampage incidents. In the late afternoon twilight revelers across Berlin lit fireworks, with a massive display around midnight continuing into the early hours of Sunday. Berlin police said apart from two cases of sexual harassment, the evening passed off peacefully. DW's Laura Schneider reported that earlier in the evening, a man was arrested after he shouted "bomb, bomb, bomb" during the Berlin celebrations at the city's landmark Brandenburg Gate. Police tweeted that it was 'not funny' and he would now be welcoming in the New Year with them. Unease in Cologne In Cologne, the scene of last year's sexual harrassment and attacks on New Year's Eve, more than a thousand extra police, including many women officers, were deployed for duty. At one point, police said they security screened more than 1,000 men of North African origin as they arrived at Cologne's main railway station, and a station in another suburb of the city. DW's Dana Regev tweeted that the men were having their identities checked. Last year, hundreds of women claimed they were sexually assaulted by large groups of migrants, who also carried out mass robberies among the revelers while letting off fireworks. The incident led to widespread public outrage. Several other German cities remained on high alert on Saturday night, amid terrorism concerns and fears of a repeat of last year's events in Cologne. Turkey not spared While Germany escaped any further atrocity, a lone gunman dressed as Santa Claus, gunned down dozens of New Year revelers at a nighclub in Turkey's largest city, Istanbul. The city's governor said at least 35 people were killed and a similar number wounded. It was the latest attack on a country that was targeted several times in 2016, and where more than 180 people have died. Europe on alert Elsewhere in Europe, additional security measures put in place following the Berlin attack, helped put revelers minds at ease. Across France, an extra 90,000 police and army were deployed to watch over New Year celebrations. Despite the icy temperatures, hundreds of thousands of people turned out in Paris' Champs-Élysées for the annual fireworks display. There were similar scenes in London, where party-goers gathered on the banks of the River Thames for a 12-minute fireworks show put to music by many artists who had died in 2016, including David Bowie, Prince and George Michael. Spain's New Year tradition of the 12 grapes, where revelers eat a grape during each of the 12 bells at midnight of the clock tower at Madrid's Puerta del Sol, was also as popular as ever.

Police have reported very little trouble during celebrations to mark the start of 2017 in Berlin and Cologne. Security was tightened following the Christmas market attack on December 19. Organizers of the New Year festivities in Germany’s capital said hundreds of thousands of people were present on Saturday night, barely two weeks after Tunisian Anis Amri rammed a truck into ... Read More »

Most Germans favor additional security measures – poll

Sixty percent of Germans want more video surveillance in public spaces, according to a new YouGov poll published on Sunday. The public call comes in the wake of the Berlin Christmas market attack. Appearing to support government plans to change the law to allow increased video surveillance, 73 percent of Germans poll supported the idea of having large police forces. The YouGov survey for the German news agency dpa was carried out days after Tunisian national Anis Amri plowed a truck into a Christmas market, killing 12 people and wounding nearly 50 others. Amri, who was the prime suspect, was shot dead after fleeing to Italy. The Christmas market at Berlin's Breitscheidplatz near Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church had not been under surveillance by police cameras at the time of the attack. Amri's involvement in the attacks was initially missed by authorities, which some analysts believe would have been avoided if video cameras had been in use. A refugee of Pakistani origin was initially suspected of carrying out the attack after being followed from the scene by a member of the public. Sunday's poll comes after the German cabinet this week approved a draft bill that will allow greater monitoring of public places, despite opposition from Berlin's regional government, whose leaders have called the move premature. The draft law will mean a partial roll-back of Germany's strict privacy laws. In response, Federal Interior Minister Thomas De Maizière (CDU) called on Berlin's regional assembly to "rethink" its attitude to video cameras "urgently". In the YouGov survey, one in two Germans polled called for involvement of the military (Bundeswehr) in the event of terrorist attacks. At present, soldiers can be deployed when police called for backup. But their role has never been cemented. Next March, the first joint exercise of the Bundeswehr and the police will take place.

Sixty percent of Germans want more video surveillance in public spaces, according to a new YouGov poll published on Sunday. The public call comes in the wake of the Berlin Christmas market attack. Appearing to support government plans to change the law to allow increased video surveillance, 73 percent of Germans poll supported the idea of having large police forces. ... Read More »

CSU’s Seehofer: cap on migrants a precondition for next government

Never before has Bavaria's Minister President spoken so bluntly about limiting the influx of migrants. Now, Merkel's conservative ally has said a cap will be a prerequisite to forming a new government next year. "Without an annual threshold of 200,000 migrants allowed to enter Germany, the Christian Social Union (CSU) will refuse to be part of the next government," the Bavarian party's head Horst Seehofer told news agency dpa on Wednesday. While German Chancellor Angela Merkel has so far refused to entertain the notion of such a cap, Seehofer sought Wednesday to enforce his position on the German television program "Farbe bekennen". When pressed whether the CSU would otherwise run as an opposition party, Seehofer responded: "You've got that right." The CSU leader also said he was confident he would be able to push his party's position and overcome any resistance expressed by the Chancellor. "We're going to get this cap," he said, citing that Merkel and allies in her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party also wanted to avoid a repeat in the influx of migrants arriving in Germany over the past year. "We want to assure the people that we will be part of a government that keeps its word," the CSU head said. However, Seehofer argued that a cap was a necessary requisite to allow Germany to continue taking in people most in need. He also said that he explicitly supports such a policy. The Minister President of Bavaria also welcomed the CDU's decision to include last week's party conference vote to only allow dual nationality under exceptional circumstances as part of its mandate for the 2017 election. Although Merkel and other leading CDU figures voiced their displeasure about the result, Seehofer said they "cannot ignore the party convention." The policy would require children born in Germany to migrant parents to opt for either German nationality or that of their parents.

Never before has Bavaria’s Minister President spoken so bluntly about limiting the influx of migrants. Now, Merkel’s conservative ally has said a cap will be a prerequisite to forming a new government next year. “Without an annual threshold of 200,000 migrants allowed to enter Germany, the Christian Social Union (CSU) will refuse to be part of the next government,” the ... Read More »

German high court stops one Afghan deportation, dozens more go ahead

Germany's Constitutional Court has postponed the deportation of an Afghan man until he can complete an application for asylum. The court did not, however, stop the deportation of some 34 other Afghans. The German Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday in favor of a 29-year-old asylum-seeker and issued a stay of his deportation order. The court did not, however, stop the deportations of some 34 other Afghans who were deported on Wednesday, according to German media. In its ruling, the court left open the question of whether deportations to Afghanistan are constitutionally justifiable and instead addressed only the case of the 29-year-old. The man had filed an asylum application 30 months ago and more recently filed a follow-up application, citing the poor security situation in Afghanistan as the reason why he could not return. The Constitutional Court said he could not be deported until that application had been processed. The court denied an application from a second Afghan who requested an injunction against his deportation. Protests at airport A spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Refugees said authorities were expecting a plane with 50 returnees from Germany to arrive on Thursday in Kabul. Several hundred people gathered at Frankfurt Airport on Wednesday to protest against the planned deportations, chanting: "Deportation is torture; deportation is murder; the right to remain for all, immediately." A charter flight carrying a group of rejected Afghan asylum seekers back to their home country left Germany on Wednesday evening, according to Reuters news agency and Germany's ARD public broadcaster. "Spiegel Online" reported earlier Wednesday that 50 Afghans would be on board the flight from Frankfurt to Kabul, which is to be just the first in a series of such deportations, with the next one planned for January. A spokeswoman for the German Interior Ministry would not confirm details about the flight. Ahead of the deportations, she said the time and place were being kept confidential so as not to endanger the measure, which was agreed as part of a deal with the Afghan government in October. Lawmakers and rights groups react to deportations The chairman of the Green Party parliamentary group in Berlin decried the deportations, accusing German Justice Minister Thomas de Maiziere of playing a "ruthless game" with the well-being of the asylum seekers. The human rights organization Pro Asyl called on local Green Party lawmakers to fight future mass deportations of Afghan migrants denied asylum status. Pro Asyl's head, Günther Burkhardt, told German news agency DPA: "We are appealing to Green Party members in Hessen, Baden-Württemberg and Hamburg to do all they can to stop these people from being deported." However, leading figures from the Christian Social Union (CSU) party, Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative allies in Bavaria, welcomed the deportations. CSU leader Horst Seehofer told German broadcaster ARD that he hoped Wednesday's deportations would "not be a one-time event." Returning rejected asylum seekers would also disparage radicalized forces within Germany, he added. Eight of the deported Afghans were living in Bavaria. Bavaria's interior minister, Joachim Herrman (CSU) also refuted claims that the deportations were a violation of human rights. With German soldiers and police forces supporting local security forces in Afghanistan to stabilize the region, "this warrants the return of rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan's secure provinces," he said. Afghans caught in the middle According to "Spiegel," the Afghan returnees will first be handed over to local authorities before returning to their home regions, if these are considered to be "halfway safe." More than a million migrants, mainly fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa, have entered Germany since 2015. In 2016, Afghans were the second biggest group of asylum-seekers in Germany after Syrians, according to data from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Germany has sought to speed up the processing of applications for people most likely to receive asylum, such as those fleeing the conflict in Syria. But that also means the government has sped up the process of expelling certain groups, with Afghans falling somewhere in between. While some areas aren't considered safe enough to send asylum seekers back, others are. The German and Afghan governments signed an agreement on deportations several weeks ago.

Germany’s Constitutional Court has postponed the deportation of an Afghan man until he can complete an application for asylum. The court did not, however, stop the deportation of some 34 other Afghans. The German Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday in favor of a 29-year-old asylum-seeker and issued a stay of his deportation order. The court did not, however, stop the ... Read More »

Lufthansa pilots’ union announces new strikes on short and long-haul flights

The pilots' union Cockpit has announced a new round of strikes for Tuesday and Wednesday on short and long-haul flights. The union declared the strikes after the latest round of talks with Lufthansa yielded "no results." Lufthansa pilots called for a fresh round of strikes for Tuesday and Wednesday after discussions with German airline Lufthansa broke down, the pilots' union Cockpit announced on Sunday. The union said short and long-haul flights would be affected during the November 29 and November 30 strikes. Talks Sunday between Cockpit and Lufthansa concerning the wage dispute "did not produce any results," the union's spokesman Jörg Handwerg said in a statement. According to the statement, Cockpit turned down a Lufthansa offer and criticized the company, saying: "It is completely incomprehensible that a tariff partner still strictly refuses to submit an offer on the basis of which one can negotiate." So far, some 350,000 passengers have been affected in the last bout of work stoppages, with 2,755 flights canceled from Wednesday to Saturday. On Sunday, an additional eight flights were canceled in Munich, including five intercontinental flights, and 27 in Frankfurt, of which 14 were long-haul. Cockpit wants an average annual pay increase of 3.7 percent for 5,400 pilots over a five-year period dating back to 2012 until May 2017. Lufthansa has offered to increase wages by 4.4 percent in two installments, as well as a one-off payment worth 1.8 months' pay. The wage dispute has been running for some two and a half years.

The pilots’ union Cockpit has announced a new round of strikes for Tuesday and Wednesday on short and long-haul flights. The union declared the strikes after the latest round of talks with Lufthansa yielded “no results.” Lufthansa pilots called for a fresh round of strikes for Tuesday and Wednesday after discussions with German airline Lufthansa broke down, the pilots’ union ... Read More »

Lufthansa pilots’ strike to strand 100,000

Pilots for Germany's leading airline have announced a two-day strike. The news came just after a Frankfurt court refused to allow the company an injuction against the industrial action. Lufthansa announced on Tuesday that a strike would likely ground 900 flights and "affect some 100,000 passengers." The news came after a labor court in the state of Hesse threw out a last-minute injunction the airline had tried to file against the Cockpit pilots' union. In a statement released after the ruling, the union said the strike would affect both short distance and long-haul flights on Wednesday and Thursday. This most recent action is the 14th strike at the airline since 2014 as part of a long-running pay dispute. The union is seeking a 3.7 percent raise for around 5,400 pilots in Germany as Lufthansa seeks to cut costs amidst increased competition from both low-cost rivals and luxury Gulf carriers. The airline's offer of a 2.5 percent pay rise over six years was soundly rejected by Cockpit. The union has repeatedly accused Lufthansa of pocketing billions while letting their pilots' salaries stagnate. Speaking to German broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday, Lufthansa spokesman Martin Leutke accused the union of being "more interested in escalation rather than finding a solution to the conflict." He stressed that the airline was willing to continue negotiating with the union and wanted "to find a solution as soon as possible." Cockpit executive board member Jörg Handwerg said that the airline had until this point only made a "sham offer" that demanded compensation for any tariff increases caused by the strikes. A "zero sum game" is "not a serious offer," Handwerg told ZDF. Cockpit has threatened further strike action if Lufthansa reviews its proposals. Lufthansa estimated that the strike will cost the airline between 7 million euros and 9 million euros ($7.4 million and $9.6 million) per day. The company also said the union's decision to extend the strike to Thursday was "completely incomprehensible." The strike began at midnight on Wednesday (German time) and will last 48 hours. Lufthansa said 51 intercontinental flights would be canceled. The company also announced that its subsidiaries Eurowings, Austrian Airlines, SWISS and Brussels Airlines would not be affected by the labor action. The airline said it is hoping that it can accommodate some stranded passengers by running larger Boeing 777 aircraft on its subsidiaries' routes. Earlier on Tuesday, cabin employees at the company's budget Eurowings division saw 60 flights in Hamburg and Düsseldorf grounded in a short-term strike that has come to an end.

Pilots for Germany’s leading airline have announced a two-day strike. The news came just after a Frankfurt court refused to allow the company an injuction against the industrial action. Lufthansa announced on Tuesday that a strike would likely ground 900 flights and “affect some 100,000 passengers.” The news came after a labor court in the state of Hesse threw out ... Read More »

Scroll To Top