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

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Today in Germany: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Germany's Robert Andrich in action. As seen at the international match against France at the Groupama Stadium. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christian Charisius

Poverty has spiked in Germany since the Covid pandemic, the German national football team has regained its confidence after beating France last week, and more news from around Germany country on Wednesday.


One in five children in Germany affected by poverty

One in five children in Germany was affected by poverty in 2022, according to a report by the non-profit Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband. At 21.8 percent of all children and young people, this was a "sad record", explained Ulrich Schneider, Managing Director of the association, at the presentation of the poverty report in Berlin on Tuesday.

In total, 14.2 million people in Germany were poor in 2022 - a rate of 16.8 percent of the total population. That is 100,000 more people than in 2021 and almost one million more than in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, said Schneider.

Compared to 2006, the number has risen by 2.7 million. According to the association, this was the year in which the poverty began to trend upward.

In its analysis, the association refers to the Federal Statistical Office's (Destatis) micro-census. Reliable figures for 2023 will not be available until next year; the data for 2022 is the most recent in the statistics, according to the association. There are no signs of a trend reversal in the figures for 2023, explained Schneider.

Cost increases: gas prices to rise with the return of VAT

Consumers will have to brace themselves for higher gas prices from April. The temporary VAT reduction expires at the end of March. "The full VAT rate will suddenly increase the price of gas by 11 percent," said Thorsten Storck, energy expert at the comparison portal Verivox.

Steffen Suttner, Managing Director of Energy at the comparison portal Check24, also said that the increase in VAT from seven to 19 percent would significantly increase energy costs for consumers from April.


In order to cushion the high energy prices as a result of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, politicians decided to reduce VAT on natural gas supplies and district heating. From October 2022, the VAT rate has been reduced to seven percent.

From the outset, the measure was limited until 31 March 2024. 

According to Verivox, a family with a gas consumption of 20,000 kilowatt hours has an average additional cost of around €220 per year. A single person with a consumption of 5000 kilowatt hours would have to pay €52 more.

Germany has more Michelin starred restaurants than ever before

Although the catering industry is also struggling with a shortage of skilled workers, rising purchase prices, inflation and higher energy costs, there are more starred restaurants in Germany than ever before.

michelin star chef

Star chef Marco Müller at Restaurant Rutz. The restaurant was awarded a third star by the Michelin Guide in 2020. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Frank May

This year, a total of 340 establishments can boast at least one star in the "Michelin Guide". This is according to the 468-page restaurant guide, which was presented in Hamburg on Tuesday and is due to be published at the beginning of May.

In 2024, ten restaurants will also be able to carry the highest Michelin award and adorn themselves with three stars. The Upper Bavarian restaurant "Ess:enz" by Edip Sigl, which was only awarded two stars two years ago and now already has its third star in the bag, is a newcomer to the star Olympus.


The nine other three-star restaurants are spread between: Berlin ("Rutz"), Baden-Württemberg ("Bareiss" and "Schwarzwaldstube" in Baiersbronn), Bavaria ("Jan" in Munich), Hamburg ("The Table"), Lower Saxony ("Aqua" in Wolfsburg), Rhineland-Palatinate ("Waldhotel Sonnora" in Dreis, "Schanz. Restaurant" in Piesport) and Saarland ("Victor's Fine Dining by Christian Bau" in Perl).

READ ALSO: 'Meat drowned in sauce': Germany's biggest food culture shocks for foreigners

German team has 'belief back' ahead of Euro 2024

Germany have regained their self-confidence after a 2-0 win against France last week three months before hosting Euro 2024, World Cup winner Philipp Lahm told AFP in an interview. The celebrated victory was shortly followed by another, against the Netherlands.

Lahm, who is tournament director for Euro 2024, said the promising performance brought back "euphoria in our country" because the "German national team played football well and played football passionately".

In Qatar in 2022, Germany reached a new low when they were eliminated at the group stage of a World Cup for the second time in a row.

Hansi Flick became the first Germany coach in history to be sacked and was replaced by Julian Nagelsmann in September.

In Lyon on Saturday, Nagelsmann appeared to be finally moulding a new, young team, less than three months from the opening match of the tournament against Scotland on June 14th.

Germany-based "Worldcoin" banned in Portugal

Portugal's data authority announced Tuesday the temporary suspension of cryptocurrency project Worldcoin, citing concerns over data protection for minors in the iris-scanning platform set up by OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman.

Worldcoin began operating last year and provides users with a private digital identity -- a "World ID" -- after they get their eye's unique iris pattern scanned.


The project, according to its founders, aims to solve one of the main challenges facing the crypto industry which largely relies on pseudonyms to operate, leaving it vulnerable to spam bots and scams.

Germany, home to where Worldcoin developer, Tools for Humanity, is the only European country left where Worldcoin can still operate. Its co-founder, Alex Blania, is also German.

Bavaria’s data protection authority, which leads on data protection oversight of the company and has been investigating Worldcoin since last year, has yet to take any public intervention. 

With reporting by DPA.


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