Local news translated – Dec. 7, 2022

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, Dec. 07, 2022 

Stuttgart’s Lord Mayor turns against COVID rule in the State of BW – OB Nopper: Mask in bus and train should be removed  

With a benevolent glance at Bavaria, Stuttgart’s mayor Frank Nopper (CDU) is demanding that the state health minister Manfred Lucha (Greens) should abolish the mandatory wearing of masks on buses and trains as of December 10, just like his neighboring states. Nopper is chairman of the supervisory board of Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG (SSB) and Verkehrsverbund Stuttgart (VVS). “It is not comprehensible why a mask obligation should continue to exist in buses and trains, while in the tightest crowds at Christmas markets, in retail, in soccer stadiums or in commercial aircraft, the mask obligation has long been dropped,” Nopper said. Before him, the spokesman of the association of transport companies in the country had argued for the abolition, Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) wants to stick to the obligation until the end of the year. Refusers pay a fine of 70 to 250 euros. Nopper proposes to change the mask obligation into a recommendation, especially for vulnerable population groups.  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 7)

Large-scale operation in Baden-Württemberg – Raids against “Reichsbuerger”  (citizens of the German “Reich”)

Since the early hours of the morning, special police forces have been searching at least 34 apartments of suspected so-called “Reichsbuerger” in numerous locations in Baden-Württemberg. The raids were taking place on behalf of the Federal Prosecutor General. There were similar operations and arrests throughout Germany. 25 people have been arrested, 3000 officers are on duty in eleven federal states. According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, they are accused of preparing the overthrow of the state.  In the state, the focus of the deployment of Special Operations Command (SEK) and Evidence Preservation and Arrest Units (BFE) is in the districts of Karlsruhe and Pforzheim.  In Pfinztal-Wöschbach (Karlsruhe district), elite SEK police officers forced their way into the home of a suspect after setting off a firecracker as a distraction. The officers had approached the apartment building in an armored response vehicle.

In April, a suspected Reichsbürger had shot down and seriously injured an SEK officer during a raid. It developed into the longest exchange of gunfire between police officers and a criminal since the arrest of RAF terrorist Andreas Baader in 1972, when Baden-Württemberg had to request an armored vehicle from the SEK in Nuremberg after the shooting began because its own SEK did not yet have such a vehicle.   Citizens of the “Reich” are people who do not recognize the Federal Republic and its democratic structures. They often refuse to pay taxes. They are often in conflict with authorities. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution estimates that the scene has around 21,000 followers. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Dec 7)

Almost 50 new jobs at Böblingen town hall – Böblingen massively upgrades its personnel

This kind of thing should not happen again: Shortly after the first lockdown, it was possible to have to wait three months to apply for a passport. In the meantime, waiting times have been reduced through restructuring and temporary positions. But a permanent solution simply requires more staff, emphasized Gisa Gaietto, head of Böblingen’s Ordnance and Citizens’ Office, who can give many examples of where things got stuck.  That’s why the city now wants to upgrade. In the coming year, it wants to create almost 50 new positions, at an additional cost of 2.6 million euros. And in the following years, the increase in personnel is to continue. This is provided for in the staffing plan that accompanies the draft budget. In order to explain this extraordinary increase in personnel, the mayor of Böblingen, Stefan Belz (Greens), specially invited the public to a press conference. We are not talking about jobs nice to have, it is not about luxury”, he hastened to say. Rather, he said, the occasion was serious. “To fulfill the necessary mandatory tasks, we simply have too few staff.”  (Stgt Nachrichten, Dec 7)