On Friday, 29th December - the last working day of 2017 - The Local went around Berlin to ask people what they were hoping for in 2018.
Almost everyone shrugged off the idea of a New Year's resolution and instead spoke of concrete issues - namely housing, work and children. Most were skeptical of a 'perfect' new government but had clear expectations about what a new government ought to do.
Fabian and Gesa. Photo: Rose-Anne Clermont
Fabian, who works for a start-up and his partner Gesa (pregnant), who works for Zalando.
“In 2018 we want a new flat," says Gesa. "We both have good jobs but we can't find affordable housing intended for a family and not a luxury building.”
“The new government should address social disparity and not allow for such huge social economic gaps,” says Fabian.
Gesa: “There needs to be more invested in education and social equality. There are parents who don't want their kids going to schools with too many migrant children or disabled children but those kids should also be able to learn and have the same opportunities.”
Fabian and Gesa are not unlike most respondents from a recent survey conducted by Forsa Institute, which found that for Germans, less stress and more time for family were the most important priorities for 2018.
Ronny, single and in his late fifties who works six days a week driving a DHL truck.
“I'm just happy to have work. That's the most important thing. I am actually pretty satisfied with my life. Another day off from time to time would also be nice.”
Constanza, a nurse who lives just north of Berlin.
“I don't actually have any New Year's resolutions, I never do. I am actually very happy to be German and to live in Germany because I think we have a very high standard of living compared to many other places.
I would say that something ought to be done about the trash, though. Look,” she says, pointing to litter in a busy street in the Prenzlauerberg district, Eberswalder Straße, “I wish for more clean streets in 2018.”
Karla, a student.
“I am for the political issues represented by the Left Party. I basically believe in lowering rents and having better wages.”
Kathleen and Marvin. Photo: Rose-Anne Clermont
Kathleen, mother of two and Marvin, father and cinematographer.
“I wish for more harmony and commitment to social issues,” says Kathleen, when asked about what a new government should focus on in 2018.
Marvin, Kathleen's partner, says: “(I hope) that German culture is supported more. Most music and films come from outside of Germany. There ought to be a minimum quota for German-produced music, like in France.”
Wrapping their four-month old baby closer to her chest, Kathleen contentedly adds: “I actually wish everything could stay exactly the way it is.”
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