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WHAT CHANGES IN GERMANY

Everything that changes in June 2023 in Germany

From an exciting new initiative for young people in Germany to shop closures, here are the big changes coming to the Bundesrepublik during the first month of summer.

clocks around Germany
A compilation of town hall clocks from around Germany. Photo: picture alliance/dpa

“Kulturpass” for all new 18-year-olds

Starting in mid-June, newly minted 18-year olds can expect a nice birthday president from the German government. Following the lead of countries such as France, Spain and Italy, the new adults are to receive a €200 “KulturPass” (cultural passport), which they can spend on concerts, cinema, theatre, museums and other institutions within two years. The digital pass is available to all young people living in Germany, regardless of if they hold citizenship or not. 

Corona warning app goes into ‘sleep mode’

Nearly three years after it was launched, the Corona warning app will then go into “Ruhemodus” (sleep mode) starting on June 1st. This means that it will no longer be updated and will also disappear from the Google and Apple app stores. 

However, users can keep the app on their mobile phone if, for example, they saved their vaccination certificates there and want to continue using them. The contact diary function will also remain.

In May, the app had already stopped giving alerts to those who came into contact with an infected person.

READ ALSO: Germany’s corona warning app stops giving alerts after three years

Corona Warn App

Germany’s Corona warning app, which gave an alert about coming into contact with someone with Covid-19. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Bernd Weißbrod

Large-scale Nato manoeuvres could affect air travel

Fighter jets, transport and tanker aircrafts will be conducting practice exercises in the German airspace between June 12th through 23rd. The Nato manoeuvre “Air Defender 23” is planned, on behalf of various countries, and in different parts of Germany. Through the exercise, NATO member states will be testing how quickly fighter aircrafts can be ready for action.

During the operation, plane travel may be affected. As the planning was done well in advance, it’s likely that airlines have prepared for this and have already cancelled or changed flights accordingly. However, some NATO exercises will not be announced only a few days beforehand, so there may be further changes to flights.

READ ALSO: Could a NATO air defense drill spell chaos for travellers in Germany this summer?

‘Baukindergeld’ to be replaced by new subsidy programme

Until last year, Germany provided a subsidy to families who wanted to build or buy a property with the so-called Baukindergeld (building child support payment). But starting in June, it will be replaced by a new loan programme, the “Home Ownership for Families” (WEF). Families with low to medium incomes will then receive the subsidy, which is graduated according to annual income.

To qualify for the programme, the family must live in the property itself and it must be a new construction or first purchase. The annual household income also can’t exceed €60,000 per year.

This amount increases by a further €10,000 per child. The lower-interest loans carry an amount of €140,000 to €240,000.

READ ALSO: What to know about mortgages and fees when buying property in Germany

Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof to close several shops

A big change for shoppers will occur on the last day of the month. By June 30th at the latest, several Galeria-Kaufhof & Karstadt shops will close and many employees will lose their jobs. The following department stores will close their doors – which is why you might still be able to find a bargain or two there throughout the month: Celle, Coburg, Cottbus, Duisburg, Gelsenkirchen, Hagen, Hamburg-Wandsbek, Hamburg-Harburg, Leverkusen, Munich’s main train station, Neuss, Nuremberg, Nuremberg-Langwasser, Offenbach, Paderborn, Regensburg Neupfarrplatz, Saarbrücken, Siegen, Wiesbaden.

Changes for train travellers

Anyone travelling by train starting in June can expect several changes. They include no longer being able to claim compensation for situations outside of the train companies’ control (for example harsh weather), as well as more spots available for bikes on long distance trains.

READ ALSO: What’s changing for train travellers in Germany in June

Pharmacy day of protest

Strikes around Germany are not an unusual occurrence lately. Now pharmacies around Germany are also staging a work walk-out on Wednesday, June 14th, in protest against the government’s health policies.

Pharmacy in Hamburg

A pharmacy in Hamburg. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marcus Brandt

According to a statement from the German pharmacy chain Abda: “Fewer and fewer pharmacies, patient care characterised by bottlenecks, ten years of fee freezes for pharmacies and so far no insight from the federal government – things cannot and must not go on like this!”

READ ALSO: German politician’s warn over children’s medicine shortages

The first of school holidays begin

While the majority of Germany’s 16 states have their school holidays in July and August, there is one giving kids a break a bit earlier in June. Schools already shut their doors on June 22nd, reopening them on August 4th, or just a few days after pupils in Bavaria start their holidays. 

READ ALSO: 7 reasons why June is the best month in Germany

“Home Connect Plus” app will be discontinued

On June 30th, the smart devices app – which works in coordination with a FritzBox router- will discontinue its service, the reason being the “difficult economic market situation”, according to the product’s homepage. 

With the latest version of the app, which will be available from June 1st, you can download your personal data. What you then do with the data is questionable – because there is currently no replacement for the popular app.

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TECHNOLOGY

European travel services hit by major global IT glitch

Businesses across Europe - including airports, airlines and other transport operators - have been hit by major IT problems caused by a rogue software update.

European travel services hit by major global IT glitch

Windows users reporting getting the notorious ‘blue screen of death’ error screens on their systems which prevented them from carrying out their work – a problem caused by a software update on the CrowdStrike security platform.

CrowdStrike’s CEO says the problem has now been identified and a fix deployed, but it’s likely that knock-on disruption could continue for some time.

The air travel industry has been particularly badly hit.

On Friday morning flights were suspended at Berlin airport while passengers at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport reported chaotic scenes and long queues at check-in.

Spain’s airport operator Aena warned that the problems were causing alterations to their network’s system, meaning that they’ve had to go from digital to manual. Aena, which manages 46 airports in Spain, has warned that delays are likely over the course of Friday, but that not all airports are affected equally.

READ MORE: Global IT glitch starts to cause travel chaos in Spain

Meanwhile numerous airlines including Air France, KLM and the budget airline Ryanair reported major IT problems.

Anyone due to fly on Friday is advised to contact their airline before going to the airport.

Meanwhile in the UK Sky News was off the air and several train companies said they were suffering severe IT problems that could lead to train cancellations.

For more detailed country specific information, head to the homepage for The Local France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway or Denmark

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