Hundreds protest in Berlin as the cost of living continues to rise

Hundreds of people affected by Germany’s cost-of-living crisis gathered outside the Federal Chancellery in Berlin over the weekend to protest what they say is the increasingly worsening situation in people’s lives.

Some demonstrators held signs calling for “immediate help for the poor” while other placards read, “We need healthy food. Abolish poverty!”

In August, inflation in Germany reached a 50-year high, hitting 8.9%. In May, it had reached 8.7% — a figure not seen since 1973 and 1974 during a previous oil crisis.

“We are no longer up to our necks in water, we are in the process of sinking. We can’t go on, we need help,” one protester said.

The demonstrators are calling for help securing decent housing and more support for people in low-income households.

President of the Poverty Network Association Michael Stiefel said, “society is becoming very divided.” 

“You noticed it in the pandemic: if you only have a two-room flat in Neukölln with five people, or if you come from Ukraine or Syria and have to live in a hostel with five people in one room.”

“That’s poverty. And that’s shabby in such a rich country,” Stiefel said.

A yearly report conducted by R+V Versicherung, a German insurance company, found that the increasing cost of living in the country was people’s top concern, followed by the lack of affordable housing and the country’s worsening economy.

Last year, Germans were most worried about tax hikes due to COVID-19.

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