Today in Germany: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday

Today in Germany: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday
Hikers in Germany's frosty Schwarzwald on Thursday. Photo: DPA
From tighter coronavirus measures to a special holiday tradition, here's the latest news on Thursday.

Most Germans for tighter coronavirus measures

Almost every second German is in favour of stricter rules in the fight against the coronavirus. Although the regulations have recently been tightened further, 49 percent are of the opinion that the measures should be “tougher”.

That is 18 percentage points more than two weeks ago, according to the ZDF “Politbarometer” published on Thursday. 

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According to the survey, 13 percent think the regulations are currently “excessive”, while 35 percent think they are “just right”.

READ ALSO: Merkel makes emotional plea for tougher curbs as Covid-19 measures in Germany break record

Lower Saxony withdraws relaxed restrictions

Lower Saxony is cutting the time period for planned coronavirus relaxations at Christmas, announced state premier Stephan Weil (Social Democrats) in the state parliament in Hanover on Thursday. 

The current contact restrictions are only to be relaxed from December 24th to 26th to 10 relatives plus children under 14. After that, only a maximum of five people from two households will be allowed to meet again over the rest of the festive period.

Parents can remove their children from attending classes as early as next week so that fewer children are sitting in classes.

Photo of the Day

Photo: DPA

Thursday marks the first day of the eight-day long Hanukkah. The Jewish holiday is celebrated around the world, and Berlin is no exception, as this picture of a giant Menorah (a traditional candle holder) being set up at the Brandenburg Gate shows.

Tesla can continue building factory

On Thursday, the US electric car manufacturer Tesla was allowed continue to clear forest land at its construction site in Grünheide near Berlin. It's slated to open and begin producing e-autos in the summer of 2021.

READ ALSO: 'Tesla isn't above the law': Gigafactory construction halted in Berlin for environmental reasons

This was the decision of the Administrative Court in Frankfurt an der Oder, which rejected an urgent application by the environmental associations Nabu and Grüne Liga for a temporary halt to the clearing. 

The court stated that the approval of the premature start of the approved tree felling work was lawful. However, the environmentalists had argued that it could destroy the habitats of protected species of sand lizards and smooth snakes in the area, or disturb them during their winter hibernation.

Germany drops probe against Nazi guard

Germany has dropped a probe into a former Nazi guard slated to become “possibly the last” suspect deported from the US for alleged complicity in the Holocaust, prosecutors said Thursday.

Friedrich Karl Berger, 95, had been accused of aiding and abetting the killing of prisoners as a guard at two concentration camps in northern Germany, in particular by overseeing a brutal evacuation march.

A court in March ordered his deportation from the US, where he has been living since 1959.

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