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

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Today in Germany: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Food prices have gone down again in Germany. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Julian Stratenschulte

Inflation drops to lowest level in three years, trial set for alleged leaders of German coup plot, and more news from around Germany on Wednesday.


Inflation in Germany drops to lowest level in three years

Year-on-year consumer price growth in Europe's largest economy slowed to 2.2 percent, according to data from federal statistics agency Destatis.

The data will fuel speculation over whether the European Central Bank will start to cut interest rates in June as inflation eases across the eurozone.

The figure was below the rate registered in February, when inflation sat at 2.5 percent, and at its lowest point since April 2021.

The slowdown in inflation owed much to a fall in energy prices, which went down by 2.7 percent on the same month last year.

Food prices similarly recorded a drop of 0.7 percent, the first year-on-year fall since February 2015.

The price of services went up by 3.7 percent, as inflation worked its way through the economy, while goods prices rose one percent.

Trial set for alleged leaders of German coup plot

The alleged ringleaders of a suspected far-right plot to attack the German parliament and overthrow the government will go on trial in Frankfurt starting in May, a court said Tuesday.

Nine suspected members of the "terror group" behind the planned coup will be in the dock from May 21st, the court said.

Among the defendants will be the two men alleged to have led the plot -- the aristocrat and businessman Prince Heinrich XIII Reuß and a former army officer identified as Ruediger v.P.


Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, a judge and former member of parliament for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, will also stand trial, reported AFP.

The Frankfurt proceedings, which will last until early 2025 at least, are just one part of the sprawling case against the alleged coup plotters.

In all, 26 people are accused of belonging to a nationwide extremist network allegedly led by Reuß, and one woman is alleged to have supported the group.

READ ALSO: Who was involved in the alleged plot to 'overthrow German democracy'?

Germany to contribute 576 million to Ukrainian defence plan

Germany will contribute 576 million to a Czech-led initiative to provide munitions for Ukraine from outside the European Union, a defence ministry spokesman told AFP on Tuesday.

The sum will make up 40 percent of the total funds for the project and will be enough to buy around 180,000 artillery shells from stocks outside the EU, the spokesman said.

Ukrainian forces have for months been facing a lack of ammunition as they try to hold off Russian troops. Kyiv's backers have sent millions of their own shells to Ukraine, but stocks are running low.

Pictured is a Leopard tank.

A tank type Leopard 2A6 of the German Army (Bundeswehr) is pictured at the Armoured Corps Training Centre (Panzertruppenschule. (Photo by FOCKE STRANGMANN / AFP)

European Union nations had promised one million shells by the end of March but have fallen well short on deliveries.

Czech President Petr Pavel -- a retired army general -- called for broadening arms purchasing at the Munich Security Conference in February.

Around 18 nations are said to support for the plan, with the Netherlands publicly pledging 100 million.


Man saved from prison under new cannabis law

Germany's new law partially legalising cannabis has saved a defendant in Düsseldorf from going to prison. The 37-year-old had to answer for illegal possession of heroin and cannabis at the district court on Tuesday.

Under the old law, the man would have been in possession of too high of a quantity of drugs, which is considered a criminal offence. According to the new law, which came into force on Monday, judge Britta Brost said that the quantity was just under this limit.

This means that drug possession is now only an offence, which allows for fines and suspended sentences. Through his defence lawyer, the 37-year-old confessed to the charges.

He was sentenced to six months' probation on Tuesday and must undergo drug withdrawal therapy as a condition of probation until the end of July.

READ ALSO: Germany gives controversial green light to cannabis

Deutsche Bahn auctions off forgotten bikes

In 2023 Deutsche Bahn auctioned off hundreds of forgotten bicycles, it announced on Wednesday.

"Every year, there are an estimated 2,700 found bikes at and in our 5,400 railway stations," said Deutsche Bahn spokeswoman when asked by DPA. Around half of them are auctioned off after being stored for at least ten weeks.

The price the bike fetches at the on-site auction in Berlin-Lichtenberg, for example, depends on the type of bike and its condition. The average auction proceeds are 60 per bike, the spokeswoman said.

However, e-bikes have also been auctioned off at auctions in various cities, with bids exceeding the 300 mark.

With reporting by AFP and DPA.


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