The whole country should be supplied with gigabit networks by 2025

The whole country should be supplied with gigabit networks by 2025

Basically, the negotiations were good.

Faux pause in the Bundestag: CSU MPs missed Merkel’s election without excuse

The membership decision of the SPD is planned for the period between February 20 and March 2. Until then, Kevin Kühnert and his opponents still have time to promote their positions.

Sources used: dpaTwitter account of Kevin KühnertFacebook page of Jusos Leipzig show more sources less sources

Health, housing, broadband expansion: the SPD and the Union have presented their coalition agreement. Is it a big hit? Your opinion is asked.

1. Europe

The Union and the SPD are in favor of a future “investment budget” for the euro zone and are ready to make higher contributions from Germany to the EU budget. More EU money should be spent on combating youth unemployment. The Erasmus + exchange program is to be expanded. The parties want to work out a framework for minimum wages and social assistance within the EU and finally introduce a financial transaction tax. The European Stability Mechanism is to become a European Monetary Fund.

2. Families and equality

The Union and the SPD want to increase child benefit in two steps by 25 euros per month: on July 1, 2019 by ten euros, and on January 1, 2021 by a further 15 euros. At the same time, the child tax allowance should increase accordingly. An increase in the child allowance is also planned.

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There will be no free day-care centers, but the parties want to make efforts to make day-care centers cheaper. Children’s rights are to be anchored in the Basic Law. Intersex children should no longer be allowed to undergo surgery unless it is necessary to save the child’s life.

By 2025, women and men are to be equally represented in management positions in the public service. A federal foundation is to deal with the participation of women in society.

You can download the provisional coalition agreement (as of 02/07/2018 11:45 a.m.) here.

3. Digitization

The fast Internet is to be expanded with 10 to 12 billion euros. The whole country should be supplied with gigabit networks by 2025. The mobile Internet should also become faster: Germany should become a pioneer in the future 5G standard. Net neutrality remains an integral part. In the future, it should be possible to report dead spots via app. 

4. Education and Research

The prohibition of cooperation in the Basic Law is to be relaxed so that in future the federal government can support schools not only in financially weak but all municipalities – vocational schools in particular should benefit from this. Six billion euros are to be spent on daycare centers, all-day schools, vocational training and universities, while 3.5 billion euros are to flow into the digital pact for schools. From 2025 there should be a legal right to all-day care in elementary school age. The student loan is to be increased. 

5. Work

The possibility of temporary employment is significantly restricted. Fixed-term contracts should no longer be possible if the same employer previously had an open-ended employment relationship or a fixed-term employment relationship with a total duration of five years or more.freedom argumentative essay Temporary work should also be taken into account.

In the case of companies with more than 75 employees, the number of fixed-term employees should be limited to a maximum of 2.5 percent of the workforce. In addition, there should be a right to temporary part-time work in companies with more than 45 employees, albeit with restrictions. The establishment and election of works councils is to be simplified.

6. Taxes and duties

The solos are to be phased out. In a first step, around 90 percent of all solidarity payers are to be relieved. There should be no additional tax burdens, i.e. no wealth or wealth tax. The top tax rate should not rise either. The contribution to unemployment insurance is to be reduced by 0.3 percentage points.

7. Economy, finance and transport

The goal remains: no new debt. A commission is to deal with the actual need for skilled workers. The parties are committed to free trade. 

In between it seemed as if the aviation tax should be abolished. That shouldn’t be the case now. Diesel retrofits could come, but only if they seem technically and economically sensible. The charging infrastructure for e-cars is to be expanded. By 2030, twice as many people should travel by train as today.

8. Energy and climate protection

The coal phase-out is not set, neither of the parties wanted that. A commission is to accompany the structural change in regions in which coal is mined and processed.

By 2030, 65 percent of electricity should come from renewable energies. The Union and the SPD want to set binding CO2 savings in areas such as industry and transport in order to achieve at least the climate target by 2030. The climate target for 2020 will probably not be achieved.

Germany should research and produce battery cells again.

9. Agriculture

The shredding of chicks should be banned, as well as the cloning and cultivation of genetically modified plants. An “animal welfare label” is intended to show consumers which food manufacturers are doing more to ensure animal welfare than is required by law. 

10. Pension

The pension level is to remain at the current 48 percent through 2025. The contributions to pension insurance should not rise above 20 percent by 2025.

People who have paid contributions for over 35 years, have looked after children or cared for relatives should receive around ten percent more money than they are entitled to in basic security (850 euros). 

The maternal pension is being expanded: women who gave birth to three or more children before 1992 are credited with a third year of upbringing. 

11. Health

Health services are to be improved for those with statutory health insurance. Doctor’s appointments are also to be allocated to a central service point that can be reached nationwide under a single telephone number. The subsidy for dentures is to increase from 50 to 60 percent. In addition, there should be a ban on mail order sales of prescription drugs. A commission is due to present proposals for reforming doctors’ fees by the end of 2019.

12. Care

A change in the law should make it easier to conclude nationwide collective agreements. An immediate program is also to create 8,000 new jobs.

13. Asylum, migration, integration

Family reunification is to be made possible again for refugees with subsidiary protection after a two-year suspension from August for 1,000 relatives per month. There are also cases of hardship. In total, minus departures and deportations, no more than 180,000 to 220,000 refugees should come to Germany per year.

An immigration law is intended to control the influx of skilled workers according to criteria such as needs, qualifications, age or language skills.

14. Housing and rent

Landlords should in future have to disclose the pre-rent. Modernization costs should no longer be passed on to tenants in the same amount as before, in expensive cities only 8 percent instead of 11 percent of the expenditure, but a maximum of 3 euros per square meter. An amendment to the Basic Law should allow the federal government to invest in social housing. Two billion euros for around 60,000 apartments are planned. 

Those who build themselves and have children should in future receive a child benefit of 1,200 euros per year and child for ten years. Prerequisite: A gross household income of a maximum of 70,000 euros per year plus 15,000 euros tax allowance per child.

15. Homeland Security

The federal and state security authorities are to be increased by an additional 15,000 posts (7,500 each at the federal and state levels) and 2,000 judges are to be hired. The parties adhere to the Network Enforcement Act. The model declaratory action is to be introduced. Investigative authorities should have the same powers, regardless of whether someone communicates via SMS or messenger – this begs the question of what that means for encrypted services.

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16. Foreign policy and development cooperation

Arms exports are to be handled more restrictively in the future. However, there is no strict ban on exports to countries like Saudi Arabia that are participating in the war in Yemen. Accession negotiations with Turkey are to be frozen. The Russia sanctions are to remain linked to the implementation of the Minsk Agreement. For 2019-2020, Germany is to apply for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

17. Art and culture

The parties want to promote the culture of remembrance, of National Socialism, SED dictatorship, but also of colonialism. Deutsche Welle is to be expanded. As a pilot project, the permanent exhibition in the Humboldt Forum in the newly built Berlin City Palace should be free of charge; in future, this could apply to state-funded permanent exhibitions.

Sources used: Own researchDraft of the coalition agreement from MondayDraft of the coalition agreement from Tuesday lunchtimedpa, Reuters, afpAdditional sourcesShow less sources

Less profit, more customers who smile. The SPD wants to make Deutsche Bahn more customer-friendly. There are numerous guidelines for managers to do this.  

The SPD is relying on stronger requirements from the future federal government for the railways in order to attract significantly more passengers to the trains. “Punctuality, reliability and efficiency must be the hallmarks of the railways in Germany again,” said SPD parliamentary group vice Sören Bartol of the German press agency. In a new grand coalition, the federal government, as the owner, will therefore “make increasing the market share on rail the central requirement for rail managers”.

In their coalition agreement, the Union and the SPD have agreed to set such economic goals in the statutes of the railway company and of the subsidiaries for the track network and the stations. The focus is not on “maximizing profit, but meaningfully maximizing rail traffic,” it says.

With the ICE to all major cities – fight against problem train stations

The political goal is formulated to double the number of train travelers by 2030. “This includes that by 2030 all larger cities will be connected to long-distance traffic again,” said Bartol, who was the SPD’s negotiator for transport in the talks with the Union. “With a” 1000 stations program “, neglected stations are to become cleaner and more attractive again for rail customers.”

In the draft coalition agreement, the Union and the SPD emphasize: “We reject the privatization of the railway.” Decisions as to where in the network to invest in maintenance and expansion would have to be “made by the federal government free of the profit interests of private third parties”. A split of the group is also rejected.

Federal funds are also to be made available for the operation of branch lines. “We want to keep train stations and stops in the regions,” says the coalition agreement. In addition, 70 percent of the rail network should be electrified by 2025. At Deutsche Bahn, around 60 percent of the 33,380-kilometer network is equipped accordingly. According to Deutsche Bahn, 90 percent of the main lines in passenger and freight traffic are electrified.

The AfD provokes in the Bundestag with debates about a ban on full veiling and the texts of Deniz Yücel. Saxony’s former Prime Minister Kurt Biedenkopf finds this “invigorating”.

Saxony’s former Prime Minister Kurt Biedenkopf (CDU) is calm about the success of the AfD. When asked “Are you excited about the AfD’s success?” the 88-year-old replied in an interview with the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”: “No. Why? I find that interesting. It stimulates political discourse.”