German Of The Day: Enteignung

That means confiscation or dispossession. You know, like confiscating private property?

Greens

And the German Greens hold this to be denkbar – another cool German word meaning conceivable or possible.

After all, the world must be fair and if rising property rents in cities like Berlin – caused by city governments like Berlin (Social Democrats and Greens for decades) – are creating hardship for the 85 percent (!) of Berliners who don’t own property – the government does everything it can to discourage owning property here – then the government that created this mess will simply confiscate the private property of those currently developing new housing and… And what? Give it to the poor? Been there, done that. We all know how that turns out. And who foots the bill. Robin Hoodlums never learn. They have no intention of learning.

Thousands took to the streets of Berlin on Saturday in protest against rising property rents and called for properties of large-scale landlords with more than 3,000 houses to be taken over by the government.

“Das Grundgesetz sieht Enteignungen zum Allgemeinwohl ausdrücklich vor.”

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Same Old Problems Caused By Same Old Solutions

Rent control still rocks. Just ask the people looking for a place to live in Hamburg, for instance.

Rents

The German government’s Mietpriesbremse (rent control plan)  – it’s “sozial,” as in “for free”  –  has alarmed landlords who are now raising rents even higher than they already had been, “vorsorglich” (preventitively).  Imagine that. Bad landlords.

It’s always the same old thing. There is a shortage of apartments. This increases the rents. New apartments are needed. That is why the government steps in “to help” by imposing price controls called rent controls. That is, the government ensures that the shortage will remain by making new housing construction unprofitable for those who would otherwise build the new housing (I know, profit is a dirty-ugly-yucky word but we haven’t found a better one yet). The shortage is sustained and increased by rent control, the supposed solution.

But don’t worry. Elections will come around soon enough and the same politicians who fixed that first problem will have new proposals for fixing the one that followed, all inexplicably like. And they will get reelected – by the very same people they screwed in the first place. Now that’s what I call sozial.

“Durch die Ankündigungen ohne konsequente Umsetzung hat die große Koalition die Kosten immer wieder angeheizt.”

German Of The Day: Zweckentfremdungsverbot

Now that’s a German word for you. And no, not just because it has Verbot on the end of it, although that certainly helps.

SPD

Zweckentfremdung means misappropriation, and in this case the Verbot has to do with using apartments for something they were not meant to be used for; for renting. Well, actually, this particular misappropriation Verbot means renting them at a high rate to those awful and dreadful tourists who come to Berlin for a limited time instead of renting them out for much, much less to people who will be paying that much, much less for a much, much longer time. Which is, uh, better.

You guessed it, we’re back here in Berlin again and trying to rent your property for the most the free market will give you is an absolute sin in these parts and must be stopped immediately. And that’s what the Berlin SPD is now trying to do with this here new-fangled, old school Socialist-type Zweckentfremdungsverbot. And you and I both know that it will be yet another roaring success. Until it backfires and gets quietly repealed a few years down the road again, that is.

Experten setzen große Hoffnungen auf das Verbot. Denn dann sind Vermietungen an Touristen und Firmen künftig nicht mehr möglich.

PS: That picture up there kills me, too. Being willing to pay 500 euros (roughly $675) to someone who finds an apartment for you is considered a complete Skandal here so that’s why “the state” needs to jump in and take those 500 euros from somebody else to pay, so-to-speak, only it will be more like 5000 euros then, which is then OK.