Monday, June 5, 2017

Germany News: Bits and Pieces (Monday Afternoon)

Take it back by law:  Starting last week in Germany....if you were an electronics shop....if you make a sell, and the customer has an old freezer that he is are required to take the old one as you deliver the new one. Same for TVs, computers, washers, and so on.  If you fail to take it....100,000 Euro.  Cost to the electronics shops?  Unknown.  Usually, if you do drag it yourself over to a recycling point, there's usually no fee involved as long as this is your local disposal point.  Computers are usually a free item for disposal.  Most will just add 10 Euro onto the sales cost of the new item, and play along.  I suspect some will work out agreements for Polish second-hand shops to just swing by once a week and pick all the bulky items and move them into Poland for sales there.

Wrecking crew action:  If you drive through various urbanized areas of Germany today, you will notice some neighborhoods where old apartment buildings are set into decay, and in some cases.....simply taken over by squatters.  It's not a very common practice but in the past occurs more often.  So, some city governments have set up funding for tear-down projects.  Once you identify an old building with no residents and zero interest in renovation....the city puts it up for demolition.  In some ways, it's a method to prevent no-go areas (at least journalists claim this).  This article by D-W concerns the Ruhr Valley area and a 30-million Euro fund for tearing down buildings.  One item within this report talks about Duisburg....which has around 50 of these buildings on a list to be torn down.  In some of these Duisburg cases....there's no electricity or running water in the buildings....yet they were occupied by immigrant families and rent was being paid.

NATO summit in Turkey:  Next year (2018), there was supposed to be a major NATO meeting in Turkey.  If you follow this weeks news....there's talk that Germany wants the meeting either cancelled or moved.  This has to do with Erdogan and civil rights questions.  At least four countries are trying to block the meeting in Turkey.  It's hard to predict how this will go.

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