Local news translated – Feb 14, 2024

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

Host Nation Update, Feb. 14, 2024

Farmers’ protest in Biberach – The Green party had to cancel their political Ash Wednesday meeting

Following farmers’ protests in the context of the political dispute over savings, the Greens’ political Ash Wednesday meeting in Biberach had to be canceled. There had been some aggressive moods, said Green Party district chairman Michael Gross in Biberach. He hoped that a constructive dialog could be re-established.

Since the morning, mainly farmers had been protesting in Biberach. Farmers blocked the access roads to Biberach with tractors. The atmosphere in front of the hall was noticeably heated. There were several incidents in the morning.

According to a dpa reporter, the police used pepper spray against demonstrators to clear the way for two vehicles before Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir (Greens) was due to drive to the hall. The two vehicles then drove away from the town hall. A window was smashed on one of the vehicles. According to its own information, the state farmers’ association in Baden-Württemberg did not call for the protests or support them in advance. The chairman of the district farmers’ association, Karl Endriß, told dpa that it was impossible to get to the town hall as demonstrators were standing around it. According to Endriß, various groups had called for the protests. Among the demonstrators were mainly farmers and trucking companies.  The atmosphere was more peaceful at the registered farmers’ rally on the Gigelberg behind the town hall, where Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir was due to speak to the farmers. When Özdemir took to the stage, people booed and honked. He called for fairness and emphasized the concessions on vehicle tax and agricultural diesel. “I know that you are very disappointed by much of what has been said and I am certainly not one of those who say we have done everything right, but that is also part of fairness,” he said.

The Greens have been meeting in Biberach for years, and this year many prominent figures from the federal government were once again expected to attend. In addition to Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir, who is considered a promising candidate to succeed Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann, Federal Green Party Chairwoman Ricarda Lang and veteran Jürgen Trittin were also expected to attend. Minister President Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) had already turned around on the way to the hall, as had Ricarda Lang. Obviously, the situation had been assessed differently. “It’s the kind of thing we didn’t expect,” said co-chairwoman Lena Schwelling. Co-chairman Pascal Haggenmüller said that it had not been possible to reach an agreement with the Demonstrators. (SN, Feb 14, 2024)


Böblingen. Discussions surrounding the connection of the B 464 and B 295

Böblingen County Commissioner Roland Bernhard has a clear opinion on the discussions surrounding the connection of the B 464 and B 295. “We need the gap closure without ifs and buts.” He rejects calls from various committees, such as the Renningen or Leonberg municipal councils, to keep the temporary solution. Nevertheless, the federal government should pay more attention to the needs of the neighboring municipalities in its planning. The federal Autobahn, which form a north-south link between the A 81 and A 8, have been connected near Renningen since 2013 by a makeshift arrangement with two small traffic circles; there are even traffic lights on the expressway. The correct and legally compliant expansion of this link, which is intended to replace the temporary traffic circles and traffic lights, is referred to as closing the gap. The Stuttgart Regional Council recently presented the current designs for the closure of the gap in Renningen, Leonberg and Magstadt – and met with little approval. This is because the plans include closing the K 1008. At the moment, the district road leads from Warmbronn to the B 295. It has long been known that this connection will be removed at a later date. However, earlier plans still included a continuation of the district road to Renningen. This could now be removed as, in the opinion of the planners, it is underutilized and the towns affected are practically inaccessible.  According to Roland Bernhard, the district of Böblingen sees an urgent need to reconcile the interests of the neighboring municipalities with those of the federal and state governments. “The temporary solution is not a permanent solution; we need a link between the two federal roads that complies with the regulations,” he emphasizes, adding: “The subordinate road network must also be fully maintained.” He thus rejects plans to remove the K 1008 between Warmbronn and Renningen from the network. “There is a solution for everything, but everyone has to sit around the table again and talk about it.” The district is therefore planning a round table with all those involved. “We must not stand in our own way: Keeping the situation as it is, is out of the question,” says the county commissioner. “Neither can we allow new plans to be drawn up now and set us back ten years. The gap must be closed before the end of this decade.”  (SN Feb 14, 2024)


Internet post for Valentine’s Day – Public love message from Mayor Frank Nopper to his wife

On Facebook, one commentator is amazed by Frank Nopper’s “piercing womanizer’s look”. In a very personal post on the social media portal, the current mayor wrote the following about the photo from 2000: “Today’s Valentine’s Day is also a day to thank my wife Gudrun: yesterday, today, tomorrow – love, partnership, longevity!”  The two met at the CDU summer party at the SSB-Waldheim in Degerloch in 1995. “Back then, I was in the CDU district group in Obertürkheim, he was in Degerloch,” recalls Gudrun Nopper, “and we’ve been a couple ever since. The two are parents to two grown-up sons.  Did she know that her husband would make his declaration of love for her public? “I suspected it,” she replies. After all, there was already a post to her on Valentine’s Day a year ago. As always, Frank Nopper drove to the town hall early on Wednesday and made several appointments. The public sees them as a very close couple. Gudrun Nopper teaches etiquette courses throughout Germany and is involved with her association “Stille Not” for those in need. She can often be seen at events in Stuttgart, often without her husband, who has a heavy workload and sometimes joins her later.  Frank Nopper is very active on social media. His team around spokesperson David Rau, it is said, suggests topics and photos, while the mayor usually wants to formulate the texts himself. Frank Nopper came up with the idea for the Valentine’s Day post himself and wrote it himself, according to the town hall. “Love, partnership, longevity” and added: “yesterday, today, tomorrow” – and certainly the day after tomorrow. On Valentine’s Day, the couple will first attend a CDU event on Ash Wednesday in the evening, followed by a Valentine’s dinner for two at home. (SN, Feb 14, 2024)