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HEALTH

Three-quarters of Germans ‘don’t support coronavirus protests’

A large majority of Germans don’t support protests against coronavirus measures, according to a new survey carried out by opinion research institute Civey for Spiegel Online.

Three-quarters of Germans 'don't support coronavirus protests'
A coronavirus demonstration in Berlin on Saturday. Photo: DPA

A total of 38,000 people took to the streets of Berlin in various demonstrations on Saturday which were later broken up by police due to the lack of measures such as social distancing.

READ ALSO: IN PICTURES: Police in Berlin halt anti-corona protest

A more radical group of around 300 protesters tried to storm the German parliament, or Reichstag, before they were stopped by police.

But a new survey shows around two-thirds of Germans are completely against the Berlin protests, while an additional 11 percent say they simply don’t support them, according to the survey.

That brings the total to 76 percent, or only two percent less than when the same survey was conducted at the beginning of August, following another large anti-coronavirus demonstration in Berlin.

However, about 20 percent of the Germans surveyed said that they “definitely” have an understanding, or lean towards supporting the demonstrators. 

The 21 percent of respondents who saw the protesters in a positive light are two percent more than in the last survey.

Voters from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) were the least likely to back the protests: a full 90 percent said they were not in favour of them.  

Among voters from the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), however, 69 percent said they support the protests, up two percent from a month ago. 

'A contradiction'

“These aggressive protests contradict the overall quite uplifting situation in Germany and the success of the measures taken so far,” wrote Spiegel Online. 

“Although the number of infections rose sharply over the summer and with the travel season, the number of seriously ill and dead has stagnated so far.”

On Tuesday, Berlin revised its disease control law to require that demonstrations of more than 100 protesters have a mask requirement.

READ ALSO: Berlin to require face masks at demonstrations

German Economic Minister Peter Altmaier also revised economic expectations for this year, painting a positive picture of the economic recovery he expected to see in the coming months. 

German Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said this week that he did not expect to see a second lockdown in Germany this autumn and winter, in part due to measures such as mask wearing that allowed for shops to remain open.

READ ALSO: 'Shops won't close again': German health minister rules out second coronavirus lockdown

Vocabulary

Survey – (die) Umfrage

supporters – (die) Anhänger

contradiction – (der) Widerspruch

success – (der) Erfolg

We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

 

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CULTURE

‘People liked the silence’: How Berlin’s club scene is struggling after lockdowns

Berlin's clubs are suffering from staff shortages, a lack of guests... and neighbours who've grown used to the silence, representatives for the scene say.

'People liked the silence': How Berlin's club scene is struggling after lockdowns

Some operators from Berlin’s club scene are bracing themselves for a difficult autumn. For months now, people have been allowed to dance again and life has returned to normal in the dark corners of Berlin’s famous nightlife scene.

But the clubs have far from recovered from the pandemic. They face staff shortages, rising prices and the prospect of a return to Covid restrictions in the autumn.

“We go into the autumn with huge fear, because the omens are totally unfavorable,” said association head Pamela Schobeß.

Spring and summer went anything but smoothly, she said. “There has been an oversupply of events. People aren’t going out as much, and some are still afraid to move around indoors.”

Money is also an issue. “A lot of people are afraid of rising energy prices.”

The industry lost workers during the pandemic and it’s hard to convince them to come back with the outlook for the autumn looking so gloomy, Schobeß says.

Her colleague Robin Schellenberg tells a similar story. People have switched to various other jobs and would even rather work on a supermarket checkout, which may have been considered less sexy in the past. Now, he says, some have learned to love not having to work nights.

READ ALSO: 

Schellenberg runs the Klunkerkranich, a small club on a parking garage deck in Neukölln. Because a number of things have become more expensive, they have also had to increase their admission prices.

His impression is that people are going out less often and are deciding more spontaneously. In addition, people in the neighborhood are now more sensitive to noise. “Many people found the silence very enticing,” he said.

Some in the industry wonder what will happen next. Will club admission have to become much more expensive? Will that exclude people who can no longer afford it? And what happens if Covid infection numbers rise sharply?

If masks become mandatory indoors in October, Schobeß believes that would be bad for the clubs. “Even if we don’t get shut down by the state, we’ll actually have to close down independently ourselves,” she reckons.

Masks take all the joy out of the experience, she says. People have drinks in their hands and are “jumping around and dancing” and then security guards have to tell them “please put your mask on.”

The federal government is considering whether states should be able to make masks mandatory indoors starting in October. Exceptions should be possible, such as at cultural and sporting events, for people who have been tested, recently vaccinated and recently recovered.

In the event that Covid numbers soar, the states could then be allowed to tighten the rules and eliminate all exemptions.

READ ALSO: German court declares techno to be music

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