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Today in Germany: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

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Today in Germany: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
A grounded aircraft at Munich airport on Monday evening. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

Munich airport closes on Tuesday morning due to weather, black ice warning, prepping for Nikolaustag and more news from around Germany.

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Freezing rain closes Munich airport

Munich airport closed to inbound and outgoing flights on Tuesday morning as freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall caused travel chaos in southern Germany.

There were no take-offs or landings from the usual opening of the airport at 6am local time to noon on Tuesday, the transport hub had announced late on Monday. At least 150 take-offs and 160 landings were affected.

"The reason for this is the forecast freezing rain in the night from Monday to Tuesday, which is expected to make safe flight operations impossible in the morning," the airport said in a statement on Monday night.

Ground staff at Germany's second-largest airport were using the morning to de-ice the tarmac.

"However, it can be assumed that the majority of flights will also have to be cancelled during the rest of the day for safety reasons," the airport said.

The airport advised passengers to contact their airline before travelling.

Munich airport closed already on Saturday as snow swept the south of Germany, paralysing rail traffic in the Bavarian capital and other parts of
the region.

Train traffic had resumed by Monday, although the cold weather was still causing disruption to suburban rail services in Munich, according to local
media.

Service at the city's main train station remained "very limited" on Monday, according to national rail operator Deutsche Bahn, with only a few long-distance trains arriving or departing.

READ ALSO: How extreme winter weather in Germany could affect your travel plans

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Weather forecasters warn of black ice on roads and pavements

Sticking with the weather them, it is due to get slightly milder in the coming days - but that doesn't give the all-clear for roads.

There is an increased risk of black ice on Tuesday, said meteorologist Marco Manitta from the German Weather Service (DWD), with the regions between the rivers Main and the Danube being particularly at risk.

“It cannot be ruled out that the black ice situation could turn out to be severe in isolated cases," said Manitta.

On Tuesday it is expected to remain cloudy, with rainfall, particularly in the west and northwest as well as in the southeast of the country.

There may be fresh snow in the north and northeast. 

Experts warn of freezing rain in the higher eastern mountains and the southeast. In the west and southwest, temperatures should reach a milder 4 to 9C.

In the northeast and southeast it is expected to remain mostly frosty with temperatures between -2 and 0C.

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German government urges Israel to guarantee 'realistic' protection to Gaza civilians

Germany has urged Israel to guarantee "realistic" protection to civilians in the Gaza Strip, as Israel moved ground forces into the south of the territory in its war on Hamas.

"Something we expect from Israel is that they not only urge civilians to leave the danger zone, but that they are in a realistic position to find safe shelter elsewhere," foreign ministry spokesman Sebastian Fischer told a regular press briefing.

"Too many civilians have already been killed in this war," he said.

The money and tax changes to know about in 2024

With the cost of living going up in Germany, many people want to keep better track of what's coming in and what's going out of their salary and bank account.

Here's a look at how changes to things like tax, health insurance contributions, and benefits could affect you next year. 

READ MORE: The money and tax changes in Germany in 2024

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What kind of money changes are happening in Germany next year? Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Monika Skolimowska

Getting ready for Nikolaustag 

German youngsters up and down the country will be getting ready for a very special visitor this evening. 

Yes, it is almost time to celebrate Nikolaustag on Wednesday December 6th. Youngsters leave their shoes (usually just the one) outside their door on December 5th before they go to sleep. 

Legend has it that Nikolaus comes in the middle of the night on a donkey or a horse and leaves little treats, like coins, chocolate, oranges and toys - for good children.

Remember to make sure your shoe or boot is polished and clean! 

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READ MORE: Why is Nikolaustag celebrated before Christmas in Germany?

German exports disappoint again in October

German exports fell unexpectedly in October on the back of lower demand from fellow European Union countries, official data showed this week.

Exports totalled €126.4 billion, down 0.2 percent on the previous month, according to adjusted figures from federal statistics agency Destatis.

Analysts surveyed by Factset had predicted a one-percent rebound in exports following a dip in September.

Imports meanwhile declined more sharply by 1.2 percent month-on-month, totalling €108.6 billion.

As a result, the country's trade surplus - the difference between exports and imports - grew to €17.8 billion from 16.7 billion in September.

The latest drop in exports was driven by a 2.7-percent plunge in demand from EU member states, against a somber economic backdrop.

Shipments of "made in Germany" goods to other parts of the world were up 2.9 percent however, including a 5.7-percent jump in exports to the United States.

The German economy, the EU's largest, has struggled to find its way out of a downturn in recent months as it battles headwinds including the fallout from Russia's war in Ukraine, high inflation and weaker demand from key market China.

The German government expects output to contract by 0.4 percent this year.

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