"Since the Russian attack on Ukraine, there has been war in Europe. Many people are worried about the future," said the SPD politician in her pre-released New Year's address. "It is all the more important now that we remember our strengths. We know from our history that Berlin always rises to top form in crises."
Giffey on New Year's Day: Berlin rises to top form in crises
The Governing Mayor of Berlin, Franziska Giffey, has called on Berliners to be optimistic.
High level of support for refugees
As an example, Giffey mentioned the care and accommodation of refugees from Ukraine. "Berlin has shown itself to be a city of open arms and open hearts. She thanked aid organisations and volunteers as well as all those who have taken in refugees at home, helped them, donated food or clothing.
"Equal opportunities, good education and social justice"
Giffey said the city should remain affordable, liveable and sustainable, diverse and safe for all generations. "Last year, over 30,000 children were born in Berlin," said the Governing Mayor. "To give them and all other children in our city a good future is what I am working for together with the Berlin Senate and our twelve districts: for equal opportunities, good education and social justice."
New daycare and school places created
To this end, more than 5,000 new daycare and 8,000 new school places had been created in 2022. "And we will continue to push ahead with the school construction offensive with more than one billion euros per year," said Giffey. Despite the time of crisis, around 16,500 new flats had also been built in Berlin - "more than in 2020 and 2021 and more than the national average".
Election rerun: mistakes shameful for Berlin
Giffey also addressed the upcoming repetition of the House of Representatives elections on 12 February: "Shameful for Berlin are the mistakes made before my term in office in the 2021 elections, which led to the decision of the State Constitutional Court to repeat the elections." These mistakes hurt her deeply. This must never happen again, she said. "You can rest assured: This Senate and the new State Election Commissioner are doing everything to ensure that the election rerun goes smoothly."
Berlin relief package in the energy crisis
"As Governing Mayor, I can tell you today that the energy supply in our city is guaranteed in all sectors this winter," said Giffey. "With our Berlin relief package, we support and help those who are particularly affected by high energy prices and inflation." For example, she said, the 29-euro ticket for public transport in Berlin is a real relief. "We are overcoming the crisis in a joint effort of politicians, business and civil society," said Giffey. "Let us trust in this strong force in our city. Because it is the strength of all of us! The power of grappling together."