Germany appoints first ever anti-racism commissioner

Germany's traffic-light coalition has created a new office to combat racism and promote diversity in politics.

Germany appoints first ever anti-racism commissioner
SPD Member of Parliament Reem Alabali-Radovan after her appointment as Federal Government Commissioner for Anti-Racism. picture alliance/dpa | Paul Zinken

On Wednesday, the cabinet of the German government appointed 31-year-old SPD politician Reem Alabali-Radovan to the newly created office of anti-racism commissioner.

The new post was created by the traffic light coalition government made up of the SPD, Greens and FDP in their coalition agreement.

In her new role, Alabali-Radovan wants to develop a diversity strategy for the federal administration. Her goal is that “the diversity of our society is also reflected in the federal ministries and federal authorities”, she said in Berlin on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Berlin launches task force against anti-Muslim racism on anniversary of Hanau attacks

“Racism is a crime against humanity,” she explained. “For those affected, it is an existential threat, they suffer physically and psychologically.”

The new Commissioner wants to coordinate the federal government’s diverse measures against racism across departments from the federal chancellery and develop a national action plan against racism. She plans to promote new projects for more prevention, educational work and research in order to strengthen civil society throughout Germany in the fight against racism.

Also the Minister of State for Integration, Alabali-Radovan entered the federal parliament for the first time last year. She was previously Integration Commissioner in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

READ ALSO: Black people in Germany face ‘widespread’ racism, survey finds

Commenting on the appointment, the Parliamentary Secretary of the SPD parliamentary group, Katja Mast said: “the fight against racism and discrimination – in all its manifestations – is a top priority for us and is anchored directly in the Chancellor’s Office”. She was sure “that Reem Alabali-Radovan will tackle this task with a clear attitude and the necessary drive”.

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Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

Germany will reinstate its so-called debt brake in 2023 after suspending it for three years to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, sources in the finance ministry said Wednesday.

Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

The government will borrow 17.2 billion euros ($18.1 million) next year, adhering to the rule enshrined in the constitution that normally limits

Germany’s public deficit to 0.35 percent of overall annual economic output, despite new spending as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the sources said.

The new borrowing set out in a draft budget to be presented to the cabinet on Friday is almost 10 billion euros higher than a previous figure for 2023 announced in April.

However, “despite a considerable increase in costs, the debt brake will be respected,” one of the sources said.

Although Germany is traditionally a frugal nation, the government broke its own debt rules at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and unleashed vast financial aid to steer the economy through the crisis.

READ ALSO: Debt-averse Germany to take on new borrowings to soften pandemic blow

The government has this year unveiled a multi-billion-euro support package to help companies in Europe’s biggest economy weather the fallout from the Ukraine war and sanctions against Russia.

Berlin has also spent billions to diversify its energy supply to reduce its dependence on Russia, as well as investing heavily in plans to tackle climate change and push digital technology.

But despite the additional spending, Finance Minister Christian Lindner has maintained the aim to reinstate the debt brake in 2023.