Not only has Germany reacted fast in curving the public health hazards of COVID-19, it has also been quick to support vital components of the local and national economy. Public authorities across the country have broken very German traits and habits by forgetting budget balancing golden rules and making sure all actors, big and small, receive emergency funds until the economy kickstarts again.
Berlin is no exception to the rule. In record-time, Berlin setup a straightforward application process, under IBB guidance, to help freelancers and small-companies out-there.
The scale with which this support mechanism was conceived & implemented is simply unheard of, and a far cry from what everyone would expect from German bureaucracy. The general sigh of relief and overall enthusiasm was shared among friends, social media and reported in the media too. But how unGerman was this whole thing exactly?
Asking around self-employed friends, it became evident that this was defying everybody’s expectations.
Not a single document to upload
No proof of lost income required
Only a dozen fields to fill in with basic data
This made me curious and wanting to dig deeper. How was everybody’s experience? To that purpose, i published a poll online to gather a few data points.
Here are some learnings. If you are in a hurry, you can get the quick facts hereunder and/or read on for details.
Every now and then, there are posters hanged on lamp posts or in the U-Bahn. I’m sure you have noticed them. This is generally the sign that elections are soon held. This time, it is local elections in Berlin; representatives of each Bezirk in the city (BVV – Bezirksverordnetenversammlung) are renewed every 5 years. That’s 55 representatives per Bezirk who take decisions on local matters and allocate budget as well. As a foreigner who has been living here for a while, there is a good chance that you are interested in how politics are run in your Bezirk. Those are elections are a chance to impact those policies.
So let me tell you 5 reasons why you probably won’t take part to those upcoming elections in Berlin.