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Today in Germany: A roundup of the latest news on Monday

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Today in Germany: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
This photo from March 2023 shows transport staff striking for wage hikes as the Verdi and EVG unions called for a 24-hour walkout across Germany. (Photo by ANDRE PAIN / AFP)

More strikes hit the public sector, Germany against driving checks for the elderly, and other news from around Germany this Monday.


More public-sector strikes from Monday

Verdi, Germany's second-largest trade union, has announced further strikes among public sector employees, with staff from district council offices, schools and the fire brigade among those striking starting on Monday.

"We're extending the warning strikes," Frank Werneke, head of the Verdi union, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Sunday.

As expected, the second round of negotiations for the around 1.1 million public-sector employees ended without any result.

In the two weeks leading up to the next round of negotiations on December 7th and 8th, some nursery staff (especially in Berlin's Kitas), teachers, social workers and university hospital staff would also be called to strike, the union head added.

Staff are calling for a 10.5 percent wage hike.

READ ALSO: Why are Berlin Kitas in a state of crisis?

"This could lead to non-emergency operations being postponed in some hospitals," Werneke said.

Germany to double aid for Ukraine

Germany's defence minister on Sunday announced Berlin would double its 2024 military aid for war-torn Ukraine, which is struggling to oust occupying Russian troops, to 8 billion.

"This is a strong signal to Ukraine, showing we are not giving up on it" when international attention is focused on the Israel-Hamas war, Boris Pistorius told television channel ARD.

Ukraine has consistently demanded greater military aid from its Western allies, but a counter-offensive launched this year has failed to drive out Russian forces entrenched in the south and east of the country.

The increased money is a response to this year's experience, "which showed that planned amounts were quickly exhausted", Pistorius said.

Plane makes emergency landing at Münster/Osnabrück Airport

The unscheduled landing of a Ryanair aircraft triggered a major alarm at Münster/Osnabrück Airport on Sunday. Around 600 firefighters and rescue workers were deployed.

The Boeing 737 with 181 people on board was en route from Mallorca to Dortmund when the pilots suddenly noticed technical problems as they got close to the planned landing. The landing flaps could not be extended.

The unscheduled landing was therefore prepared at Münster/Osnabrück Airport because the runway there is around 200 metres longer.

All passengers were then brought by bus to their original destination of Dortmund.

Germany against introduction of licence checks for drivers over 70

The EU Commission wants all drivers over the age of 70 to be checked to make sure that they are still safe to drive, but Germany's transport minister Volker Wissing is against this.

"I don't want any compulsory fitness-to-drive tests for drivers over 70, and I am confident that this will not find a majority in the EU either," the FDP politician told the Funke Media Group newspapers.

He said such "forced checks" made society "less humane".

Scholz opposed to 'immediate' ceasefire in Gaza

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sunday he opposed an "immediate" ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as calls multiply globally to halt the conflict triggered by Hamas's unprecedented attack on Israel, AFP reported.


Israel has relentlessly pounded the densely populated Hamas-run Palestinian territory and sent in troops in a mission to destroy the Islamist militant group, sparking an escalating humanitarian crisis.

"I don't think the calls for an immediate ceasefire or long pause -- which would amount to the same thing -- are right," Scholz said in a debate organised by the German regional daily Heilbronner Stimme.

"That would mean ultimately that Israel leaves Hamas the possibility of recovering and obtaining new missiles," he added, calling instead for "humanitarian pauses".

Carnival season starts in North Rhine-Westphalia

As they say in Cologne and Düsseldorf respectively, Alaaf and Helau (get them the wrong way round at your peril)!

Yes, carnival season has begun. Revellers in costumes and with brightly painted faces took to the streets – and the pubs – across cities in the Rhineland to mark the start of the carnival sessions from 11.11am on Saturday 11th November. 

The carnival celebrations – also known as the fifth season – finishes on Ash Wednesday.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about celebrating carnival in Germany


Government to introduce 'Veterans' Day'

The German government is in favour of introducing a day to commemorate former soldiers who fought in the German army.

"Germany is getting a Veterans' Day," SPD defence politician Johannes Arlt told the Tagesspiegel. This comes after the opposition CDU/CSU parties presented a similar draft a few weeks earlier.

"We in the coalition government are agreed on this and will clarify final details with the Union parties, who we would like to have on board with this issue, in the coming week," he said.

The CDU/CSU told the paper it welcomed the coalition's decision.

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