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Living in Germany: Catastrophic floods, prison breaks and life after the €9 ticket

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Living in Germany: Catastrophic floods, prison breaks and life after the €9 ticket
A tent at the Kiliani Volksfest in Würzburg. Photo: dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

In our weekly roundup for Germany we look at what comes after the €9 ticket, the anniversary of last years deadly flood and off-the-beaten-track beer festivals.


Germany remembers flood victims as climate change fears grow

On July 14th, 2021, parts of western Germany were struck by catastrophic floods in which almost 200 people lost their lives. On Thursday last week, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier paid a visit to the Ahr valley, where the worst of the flooding took place, to remember the victims and send a message of solidarity to survivors.

A year on, many of the people whose homes were destroyed in the floods are still living in temporary accommodation and just a fraction of the billions of euros earmarked for regional aid has been paid out. But the tragedy has also raised questions about how prepared Germany is to deal with the worsening consequences of climate change.

In the run-up to the anniversary of the floods, we spoke to an expert who told us that Germany’s climate has warmed up by 1.6C since pre-industrial times. In these hotter temperatures, he said, extreme weather events like flash floods are far more likely to happen. At the same time, meteorologists were warning of an impending drought disaster as the mercury hit 35C in some parts of the country this week. As last July so painfully taught us, the effects of climate change are now impossible to ignore. 

Tweet of the week

Ever wondered how you can combine your love of German bureaucracy with your passion for word games? Well, now you can. Let us know if you manage to work out this German administrative compound noun. There are no prizes, but we’ll be mightily impressed.


Where is this? 

Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

No, this isn’t a predatory shark lurking in the chilly waters of the Ostsee, it’s a rather terrifying resident of the Kiliani summer folk festival in Würzburg, Bavaria, which has been running throughout the first weeks of July.


Though Munich’s Oktoberfest is undoubtedly the most famous of these festivals in Germany, there are plenty of smaller events that pop up around the country in summer. Just like the Kiliani Volksfest in Würzburg, they tend to combine copious amounts of beer with exhilarating fairground rides. What could possibly go wrong? 

Did you know?

It’s hopefully not something that any of us will come into contact with anytime soon, but the legal system in Germany can seem a little strange to foreigners. Unlike in the UK and USA, Germany doesn’t have jury trials. Instead, cases are heard by either a single judge or a panel of professional and lay judges.

If you do end up behind bars, you may be interested to know that there’s no law against trying to bust yourself out again. Apparently, trying to escape from prison is legal in Germany, since the desire for freedom is a basic human instinct. 

What comes after the €9 ticket? 

So far it seems like Germany’s €9 monthly travel ticket has been a huge success - and now politicians and transport companies are debating what should come next.


We’d love to know your view on potential successors to the ticket. Should it be a €365 annual travel card, or an Austrian-style Klimaticket that lets you travel around the whole of Germany? Or should they call the whole thing off? 

If you have a spare five minutes, let us know your thoughts by filling out our latest survey.

Thanks for reading,

Rachel and Imogen @ The Local Germany 

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