Contains selective news articles I select

Posts tagged ‘United Land of Germany’

German restaurant takes novel approach to keep cider flowing

April 06, 2020

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — How does a traditional German restaurant comply with the untraditional demands of the coronavirus era? Thomas Metzmacher was faced with the prospect of having to shut down his Frankfurt restaurant specializing in a traditional tart hard cider due to German regulations prohibiting groups of people from gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic. So he came up with a novel solution.

After toying with the idea of a delivery service, he instead turned his half-timbered restaurant into a makeshift drive-thru. Now he is serving up schnitzel, fried potatoes and other German favorites — of course the tasty Aeppelwoi cider — to customers waiting in a long line of cars.

“The restaurant had to close, nobody was allowed to sit inside anymore, so it was either give up or fight,” he said. “And I decided to fight.” Metzmacher’s Zum Lahmen Esel restaurant, which has been in operation since 1807, normally seats 200 people inside and another 200 in an outdoor garden.

Now, cars drive up to a small booth in front of the restaurant, where one of Metzmacher’s 36 employees takes their order, and then pushes a plastic tub down a makeshift slide to the car’s window to take payment at a safe distance. Driving ahead, the customer gets their order in another tub pushed to their window.

“It’s going great,” says Metzmacher. “My regulars are supporting me, they’re really happy I’m open.” Without people sticking around for a few more of the signature ciders, profit margins are low but Metzmacher says it’s better than nothing.

“At least we’re carrying on and we’re continuing to work,” he says.

German hospital luring Brexit-worried Polish nurses from UK

February 26, 2019

DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) — Worried about Brexit? Come to Germany where you get better salaries, better weather, tastier food — and a shorter trip for visits home to Poland. That’s a German hospital’s pitch to Polish nurses working in Britain, who are among scores of European workers worried about what will happen to their work permits and right of residence if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on March 29.

The university hospital of Duesseldorf put out the ads in two Polish weekly papers in Britain late last month. It’s more than a friendly Brexit lifeline extended to citizens of a neighboring country: the hospital is in dire need of nursing staff and is hoping to fill that shortage with experienced professionals whose time in Britain may be running out.

“We have already received first inquiries,” Torsten Rantzsch, the director of nursing at the hospital in western Germany, told The Associated Press. He said the ads were deliberately written in a tongue-in-cheek style, but that “we also wanted to offer an alternative to Polish colleagues, namely the security of an EU country.”

Tens of thousands of European Union citizens currently living and working in Britain are concerned about what will happen to their status when the UK leaves the 27-country bloc. With just a month to go before Brexit day, there has been no clarity on their future status — and that uncertainty is worsened by the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

Since Poland joined the EU in 2004, 20,000 of the country’s 280,000 nurses have left their home country for Britain and elsewhere in Western Europe. The advertisement features Duesseldorf’s pretty skyline with the city’s landmark TV tower in front of blue skies and the Rhine River in the foreground, with the pitch written in both Polish and German.

The hospital decided to focus its campaign specifically on Poles, because many learn German in school and would be able to fit in quickly, Rantzsch said. “We deliberately kept the advertisement in German … because we wanted to address German-speaking nursing staff,” said Rantzsch, adding that the Duesseldorf university hospital needs to hire 100 additional nurses. Overall there’s a shortage of 70,000 nursing staff in German hospitals.

The hospital has already had good luck turning abroad to fill its shortage of skilled nurses. In 2012, Duesseldorf’s university hospital — and many other hospitals across Germany — started looking for nurses in Spain and other European countries with higher unemployment or lower wages at the time, like Italy, Hungary and Romania.

One of the first international recruits in Duesseldorf, Susana Garcia from Spain, first found out about the opportunity from the newspaper ads. She says she loves her job at the university hospital. “Working conditions here in Germany are super,” the 29-year-old nurse said. “We have full-time contracts even though we’re very young, we’ve been here now for six years.”

Grieshaber reported from Berlin. Vanessa Gera contributed from Warsaw, Poland.

Merkel negative in 1st virus test; more to be done

March 23, 2020

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said Monday that the German leader has tested negative for the new coronavirus. Spokesman Steffen Seibert told news agency dpa “the result of today’s test is negative” but that “further tests will be conducted in the coming days.”

Merkel went into quarantine at home on Sunday evening after being informed that a doctor who had administered a vaccination to her had tested positive for the new coronavirus. She received the precautionary vaccination against pneumococcal infection on Friday.

The 65-year-old, who has led Germany since 2005, was informed about the doctor’s test shortly after holding a news conference announcing new measures to curb the spread of the virus. On Monday, she led a Cabinet meeting by phone from home.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever or coughing. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Merkel in quarantine after doctor tests positive for virus

March 22, 2020

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has gone into quarantine after being informed that a doctor who administered a vaccine to her has tested positive for the new coronavirus. Merkel, 65, was informed about the doctor’s test shortly after holding a news conference Sunday announcing new measures to curb the spread of the virus, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

He said that Merkel had received a precautionary vaccine Friday against pneumococcal infection. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever or coughing. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. About 93,800 people have recovered, mostly in China.

Seibert said in a statement that Merkel would undergo “regular tests” in the coming days and continue with her work from home for the time being. Merkel had earlier expressed her gratitude to Germans who were following the rules on social distancing, saying it was important to remain at least 1.5 meters (about five feet) apart to reduce the likelihood of infection.

Merkel on Sunday thanked “the overwhelming majority” of Germans who were following rules on social distancing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. “I know that it means sacrifice,” she said, citing the economic and social costs that the lockdown is having. “I’m moved by the fact that so many are abiding by these rules. This way we show care for older and sick people, because the virus is most dangerous to them. In short: we are saving lives with this.”

Merkel said the lockdown had already affected her profoudly, too. “My life has also fundamentally changed and now consists largely of phone calls and video conferences,” she said. The development illustrated how even world leaders aren’t free from the risk of infection.

“With a certain distance the risk of infections is reduced almost to zero,” Merkel told reporters. “Whether you are half a meter apart or 1.5 meters apart makes a huge difference.” Seconds later, she was informed that her doctor had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

3 women investigated for causing deadly blaze at German zoo

January 02, 2020

BERLIN (AP) — Three women are under investigation in Germany for launching paper sky lanterns for the new year which apparently ignited a devastating fire that killed more than 30 animals at a zoo, officials said Thursday.

The three local women — a mother and her two daughters, ages 30 to 60 — went to police in the western city of Krefeld on New Year’s Day after authorities held a news conference about the blaze, criminal police chief Gerd Hoppmann said.

The women are being investigated on suspicion of negligent arson, prosecutor Jens Frobel said. The offense can carry a prison sentence of up to five years. Many Germans welcome in the new year legally with fireworks at midnight. Sky lanterns, however, are both illegal and unusual in Germany. The mini hot-air balloons made of paper have been used in Asia for centuries.

The fire started in a corner of the ape house’s roof in the first minutes of the new year and spread rapidly. The zoo near the Dutch border says the ape house burned down and more than 30 animals — including five orangutans, two gorillas, a chimpanzee and several monkeys — were killed, as well as fruit bats and birds. The animals either burned to death or died from smoke inhalation, authorities said.

Hoppmann said the women had ordered five sky lanterns on the internet and told authorities that they had believed they were legal in Germany. He added that there was nothing in the product description showing that they were banned.

Hoppmann described the women as “completely normal people who seemed very sensible, very responsible” and said it was “very courageous” of them to come forward, saving authorities a tricky investigation. He added that they feared reprisals and authorities limited the details given about the suspects.

Investigators believe that just one lantern started the blaze. They found the other four later, with handwritten good wishes for the new year attached. The destroyed ape house lacked fire detectors and sprinklers, which weren’t required when it was built in the 1970s. The zoo said, however, that it had passed a regular fire protection check a few months ago.

The building’s roof had been renovated after a hailstorm a few years ago and plexiglass was added, Hoppmann said. He said while investigators were confident the sky lantern was to blame, they will look at other factors that may have contributed to the blaze, such as dry fallen leaves on the roof.

Investigators plan to carry out tests to help find out why the blaze spread so quickly. Firefighters were only able to rescue two chimpanzees. The zoo said Thursday it was satisfied with their condition.

Fire kills animals at zoo in western Germany

January 01, 2020

BERLIN (AP) — A fire at a zoo in western Germany killed a large number of animals in the early hours of the new year, authorities said. They did not comment on local media reports that the fire was started by celebratory fireworks.

The Krefeld zoo near the Dutch border said the entire ape house burned down and all the animals inside are dead. The dpa news agency, quoting officials, said the dead animals included chimpanzees, orangutans and two gorillas, as well as fruit bats and birds.

The zoo said the nearby Gorilla Garden didn’t go up in flames, however. Gorilla Kidogo and his family are alive, the zoo wrote on Facebook early Wednesday. “An unfathomable tragedy hit us shortly after midnight.” the zoo said. “Our ape building burned down to the foundation.”

Both the zoo and the city said that they didn’t know the cause of the fire and that police are investigating. Officials would not confirm reports by local media that New Year’s fireworks could have caused the blaze. The zoo will remain closed on Wednesday.

India, Germany agree to boost industrial cooperation

November 01, 2019

NEW DELHI (AP) — India and Germany have agreed to enhance cooperation in tackling climate change, cybersecurity, skill development, artificial intelligence, energy security, civil aviation and defense production.

The two countries signed several agreements on Friday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying India is eager to benefit from Germany’s expertise. Visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country would also like to collaborate with India in infrastructure projects, waste management and water supply.

Merkel is accompanied by several ministers and state secretaries as well as a business delegation. Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe. Bilateral trade reached $21.9 billion in the 2017-18 financial year, an increase of 17% from the previous year.

Tag Cloud