Today in Germany For Members

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

The Local Germany
The Local Germany - [email protected]
Today in Germany: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
People walk through an array of freshly bloomed flowers on Hanover's Herrenhäuser Allee on Tuesday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Julian Stratenschulte

Spring officially begins with temperatures up to 21C, Court grants Tesla protesters right to remain, and more news from around Germany on Wednesday.


Temperatures of up to 21C for first day of spring

Wednesday March 20th is the official first day of spring, and temperatures around Germany are going up to mark the occasion.

Particularly in the southern half of Germany, the weather will remain dry, partly sunny and partly cloudy. In large parts of Baden-Württemberg and southern Bavaria, the sun will shine undisturbed for a long time after the morning fog has lifted.

It will be warmer in the afternoon with temperatures of 15 to 19C around much of the country, but 20 or 21C may be reached in areas along the Rhine and its tributaries.

Those who live in coastal regions, however, can still keep a warm jacket handy: there it will be partly misty and cloudy. With maximum temperatures of 10 to 15C, light rain or drizzle will fall from time to time, with rain becoming more frequent around the North Sea during the afternoon.

READ ALSO: Seven signs that spring has arrived in Germany

Court grants Tesla protesters right to remain in nearby camp

The protest camp at the Tesla plant in Grünheide near Berlin is allowed to remain for the time being. An administrative court in Potsdam granted an urgent appeal by the forest occupiers after police made several demands, including that their tree houses be dismantled due to safety concerns.

It is therefore not possible to evacuate the camp at Tesla's only car factory in Europe for the time being.

"All the conditions we were given were unlawful. We were proved right on all points and will therefore continue to stay here," said a spokesperson for the 'Stop Tesla' initiative following the court's decision.

According to the administrative court, the "general considerations put forward by police to justify the conditions regarding the incompatibility of the protest camp, including the tree houses, with nature conservation and building regulations are not sufficient" for dismantling the structures.

READ ALSO: Why is Tesla's expansion near Berlin so controversial?

Tesla protestors climb trees in the forest

Two 'Tesla Stoppen' protestors practice their climbing skills in the Grünheide forest occupation. Photo by Paul Krantz

Germany slips in World Happiness Index

The top spots in the international ranking of 143 countries, published on Wednesday, are once again largely occupied by northern nations. Finland was followed by Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Israel.

Germany, on the other hand, slipped from 16th to 24th place. The largest countries are no longer among the happiest 20 in the list - the US also fell: 23rd place instead of the most recent 15th place.

"What all Scandinavian or Nordic countries have in common - they have very small populations that are very down-to-earth," Catarina Lachmund, a senior analyst at the Institute for Happiness Research in Denmark, told DPA.

READ ALSO: Which of Germany's big cities has the happiest residents?


Berlin traffic lights to receive countdown signal

A new display is being introduced at pedestrian traffic lights in Berlin. As is already the case in many major cities around the world, in future Berlin will also have a signal that shows pedestrians how much time they have left to cross the road.

This was announced by Germany's Traffic Administration in response to an inquiry from DPA on Tuesday. The aim is to make it clear to pedestrians and other road users that pedestrians still have time to get back onto the pavement even when the light is red.

The installation of the "countdown" indicators at the traffic lights is set to begin this year. Some politicians have criticised the move as a waste of money, even as safety advocates say it's long overdue.


German investor confidence soars

German investor confidence surged in March, a key survey showed, on growing expectations that the European Central Bank will start cutting interest rates soon.

The ZEW institute's economic expectations index rose for the eighth consecutive time, climbing by 11.8 points month-on-month to reach 31.7 points.

The increase was larger than expected, with analysts surveyed by FactSet predicting a reading of 20 points.

"Economic expectations for Germany are significantly improving," said ZEW president Achim Wambach.

"More than 80 percent of those surveyed anticipate that the ECB will cut interest rates in the next six months," he added.

Hopes that borrowing costs will start coming down in the near future had contributed to a "more optimistic outlook for the German construction industry" in particular, he noted.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also