Local news translated – March 8, 2023

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

Host Nation Update, March 8, 2023


“World Women’s Day”

Women earn less – especially in Baden-Württemberg

Women in Baden-Württemberg still earn less than men on average, according to an evaluation. In 2022, the so-called gender pay gap amounted to an average of 6.08 euros per hour, or 23 percent, as the State Statistics Office announced on Monday. This means that the wage gap in the southwest was significantly wider than the national average: Germany-wide, the gender pay gap last year was 4.31 euros, or 18 percent.

According to a study by the Nuremberg-based Institute for Employment Research (IAB), women lag behind men in the Lake Constance district by as much as 39.9 percent in terms of earnings.  In terms of the adjusted gender pay gap, which factors out structural differences between gender groups, the difference in earnings in comparable professional positions and situations in Baden-Württemberg was seven percent in 2022, virtually unchanged from 2018.  Different industries, professions and requirement levels as well as part-time work are the reasons for the wage difference, the statistics authority explained on the occasion of the international day of action for equal pay between men and women (Equal Pay Day) on March 7  (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 8, 2023)


Baden-Württemberg – How cities prepare for blackout

Several short black-outs happened at Ludwigsburg, the west of Stuttgart, as well as in parts of Mannheim, in the districts of Reutlingen and Tübingen, in the entire urban areas of Rastatt and Baden-Baden, in nearby Gaggenau and in Leutkirch in the Allgäu. In the southwest, there have been several power outages in recent months.

The causes varied widely: from cable faults to an accident during excavation to a fire at a transformer station. But not least as a result of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, there is growing concern in this country about a real blackout. And questions are being asked, such as how cities and municipalities are preparing and what citizens need to know in the event of an emergency.  A real blackout is an uncontrolled, widespread collapse of the electricity supply. In Germany, this is virtually impossible. Brownouts are differentiated from this, as explained by the Ministry of the Environment, which is also responsible for the energy industry in Baden-Württemberg. In the event of a bottleneck, electricity is cut off for consumers in a targeted manner and with a lead time, regionally and for a limited period of a few hours.

Nevertheless, the cities and municipalities take precautions for a major power outage. This is because responsibility for this in Baden-Württemberg lies with the lowest municipal level, according to a spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Interior. Each city, each community takes care of itself. In the “Sample Emergency Plan for Power Outages” of the Karlsruhe Regional Council, it says, mutatis mutandis, that in the case of nationwide power outages, neighborhood assistance is not to be expected, “since all available resources are needed in the respective area.”  However, higher-level entities do provide support. For example, the Ministry of the Interior lists in great detail in its manual “Crisis Management Power Outage” what needs to be considered, for example, with regard to hospitals, water and fuel supply or information and communication technology. Some districts, such as Heilbronn, coordinate preparations in the municipalities. The goal is a uniform approach, says Marc Hoffmann, head of the security and order department at the district office. “And that everyone pulls together.” (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 8, 2023)


Baden-Wuerttemberg – Weather service warns of gale-force winds in Black Forest

The German Weather Service (DWD) has warned of gale-force winds in the Black Forest, which could reach speeds of up to 130 kilometers per hour. This was announced by the DWD in a warning situation report for Baden-Württemberg.

The wind will freshen in the southern half of the state on Wednesday, the weather service reported. In the night to Thursday, it could then come to the gale-force winds.

(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 8, 2023)


Weil der Stadt – No cars from Saturday to Monday

With the start of the open bar season, around 90 meters of Stuttgarter Straße, between Marktplatz and Kapuzinergasse, are to be closed to car traffic, at least during parts of the weekend. From 2 p.m. on Saturday until Monday morning, it will soon no longer be possible to drive through here. That decided the local council in its recent meeting.

Particularly the retail trade in Stuttgarter Straße is becoming a point of contention in the local council with regard to the traffic trial: “The consideration certainly makes sense,” commented Michael Hofbauer (CDU). “But what is the proportionality?” FDP Councilor Hans Dieter Scheerer called the plan “not justifiable,” especially now that attempts are being made to revitalize the marketplace. “We also have older people who go to the market,” he said. Closing it off would be “counterproductive there.” That the application is not one that aims to chase the business out of the city, emphasized Green Councilwoman Anke Matthias-Schwarz. There had also been similar discussions when the redevelopment of the marketplace was decided a few years ago. At that time, too, there was concern about losses for local merchants because the marketplace would become car-free with the redevelopment. “If we take the argument with the traders one hundred percent seriously, then we would not have a marketplace today as it is now,” Matthias-Schwarz said. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Mar 8, 2023)