For our weekly newspaper "Die Rote Laterne", our editor Rudi Kasulke has been reporting 2021 from the German capital since the last election to the Berlin House of Representatives in September. He gave us an interview, below some excerpts:

After the superior electoral victory of the left and the surprising failure of the SPD at the 5% hurdle, red / green can now be ruled out in Berlin. Shortly after the election, the new mayor, Christine Lompscher, explained her ideas on future housing policy: "Now that the brakes of bourgeois social democracy have finally lost their voice in the Senate, we can finally push through our housing policy ambitions. The proposals made by me personally in autumn 2019 were diluted by the bourgeois SPD establishment unbearably, so that in the consequence no housing company and no private landlord could be expropriated. We will change that immediately "!

"Rudi, over two years have passed since Christine's programmatic speech, what is the mid-term review, how is it now in Berlin"?

"I would like to call the last few years a colossal success. The lowest level of the former rental cover was an incredibly high 3,92 € per square meter. Remember that more than two million creative people now live in this city and work from time to time, how should these exploitative rents remain enough to secure their livelihood? On average, a Creative has 1.500 Euro per month available. The work-life-balance has to be right and he / she does not want to live anywhere, Reinickendorf or Lichtenberg are really no alternative to the hotspots in Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain.

"But the Senate has already acted in the past".

"That's true. From two euros per square meter, which were decided in the spring 2022, the Senate is now close to reaching the one-euro target and the nationwide for all Berlin apartments! "

"This is undoubtedly a great success, Rudi, but why is the Senate - this critical question may be allowed - avoiding a reduction to € 0?"

“It is clearly down to the smaller coalition partner. Many “greens” are still unable to break away from their upper-class roots and believe that they still have to interpret the concept of property in a reactionary manner. But the truth is also that the Senate has implemented many green plans. With 600 km² Berlin has the largest pedestrian zone in the world, no combustion engine has made it into the environmental zone for two years; the cleaning up of the colonial heritage was finally completed with the closure of Museum Island and the return of looted imperialist art. After the BER was demolished, the largest organic LPG in the country was built on the site, and Teltow beets are grown on over a thousand hectares, a real success story. And - the biggest project of the Senate - Berlin has finally risen to become the world capital of veganism. The “bloody autumn 2022” will not be forgotten when the entrances to the butchers' shops were bricked up by comrades, steak houses were pelted with red paint bags and the slaughterhouses were stormed. The meatball and currywurst dealers now have to go about their dirty business in Görlitzer Park.

"These are all success stories, Rudi, for whom the whole Republic envy us, but let us once again return to" living in our city ". What has changed in concrete terms? "

"It's paradise"! In the city there is a constant coming and going, sometimes you live here / there, sometimes there, it is getting out and in, sometimes non-violent, the city is full of mobility ".

"But Rudi, why do people do that?"

"Well, there is always something broken, windows leaking, toilet clogged, water in the basement ... then a new home is being sought".

"But there are plumbers, plumbers, so craftsmen".

"Nah, they're gone now! They had somehow decadent bourgeois ideas to earn a lot of money. And since there was no more work because of the forward-looking Senate policy, most of them went to Poland, some to the West.

"Get out of harm's way, the stalls will last a few decades, the main thing is that the speculators and the broker's plot are gone"

"Not quite yet. The usurer pillory at the Gendarmenmarkt is again full. Two brokers were caught trying to rent out a gazebo in Marzahn black for a large family from Kazakhstan and unfortunately the district office only seized the caretaker when they tried to find a manager of "Deutsche Wohnen". Then he has to stand in the way of his big capitalist master for three days.

"Now one more last question Rudi, I do not hope that I will break your deep-seated socialist attitude. Does the city still have debts? "

"Do not you! This is loosely seen here. Although per capita debt has now risen to a quarter of a million per capita, it is actually falling steadily, with thousands of people from all over the world wanting to live with us every day, at two euros per square meter. And then there's the jerks from Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse. They are actually dumping billions into our household every year. I think that means country equalization or something. Unbelievable, what must idiots be ...

"Thank you, Rudi for your report from our great capital. Get in touch again in two years.

"Thank you too, comrade: Venceremos"!

Bernd Viebach