You can’t always get what you want: police raid Hamburg officials over Rolling Stones gig

On Wednesday morning police in north Hamburg raided district offices and the premises of an events company, due to 100 free tickets for a Rolling Stones gig.

You can’t always get what you want: police raid Hamburg officials over Rolling Stones gig
The Rolling Stones in concert in Munich. Photo: DPA

Some 82,000 people turned up for a Rolling Stones gig in Hamburg in September. Among the delighted fans of the aged rockers were 100 state officials from the district of Hamburg north.

Die Welt reports that the district authorized the Rolling Stones gig and then received 100 gratis tickets with a value of €10,000 from the events company FKP Scorpio.

Tom Oelrichs, the deputy head of the district office, confirmed to Spiegel that they had received the tickets, saying that this has been “standard practice for years in the events industry.”

Prosecutors were tipped off to the case by an anonymous source and suspect that the district broke the law by accepting the complementary tickets.

There are clear rules that prohibit public servants from accepting any gifts in Germany, Die Welt explains. Beyond pens and paper they are not allowed to take any freebies.

The regulations state that the acceptance of gifts “raises the suspicion that public servants are for sale.”

Breach of this law can result in the termination of a contract, or in serious cases a prison sentence.


Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.