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BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – Many products made from single-use plastic will be banned in Germany from July 3. East German pensioners can look forward to a minimal increase in pensions. July brings some innovations – only on television it stays the same. An overview:
On July 1, pensions in eastern Germany will rise by 0.72 percent. The pensioners in West Germany, however, do not receive any increase in their salaries. The reason is the corona pandemic, which is having a negative impact on wage developments. This is the basis for the annual pension adjustment. According to the gross wages and salaries of the previous year reported by the Federal Statistical Office, the pension values should actually fall. The so-called pension guarantee in the West German federal states ensures that the pensions are still not reduced. The increase in the east pension value corresponds to the east-west alignment provided for by law. The current pension value, which is decisive for the new federal states, thus rises to 33.47 euros. For the western German federal states, the pension value will then still be 34.19 euros.
Many products made from single-use plastic will be banned in Germany from July 3rd. This affects items for which there are alternatives, such as drinking straws, stirring sticks, balloon sticks or disposable dishes. Certain drinking cups and disposable styrofoam containers are also no longer allowed to be produced or put on the market. Existing goods can still be sold.
GAME OF GAME
Online poker and roulette on the Internet will be permitted from the beginning of July according to uniform nationwide rules. Then the new State Treaty on Gaming will come into force: It is intended to enable a uniform level of protection for players and minors throughout Germany. In the future, for example, a gaming account will be mandatory for online gaming. For this, players have to identify and authenticate themselves. So minors should be excluded. In addition, players are generally only allowed to deposit up to 1000 euros per month into the gaming account and use this amount. At the same time, online poker variants and virtual slot machine games from private providers are being legalized to a limited extent, as the Berlin Senate Chancellery puts it. The aim is to curb the black market.
TV SUMMER BREAK
The television continues to broadcast, but fresh content is often missing – in midsummer there is a summer break for many television formats. At ARD, in addition to the long-running “Tatort”, the talk classics “Anne Will”, “Hart aber fair” and “Maischberger” are already on vacation for several weeks. “Maybrit Illner” on ZDF will follow in mid-July and “Markus Lanz” at the beginning of August. Sports fans can bridge the gap with the major TV event Olympia from July 23rd.
Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone (Vodafone Group) will switch off their third generation radio networks (3G or UMTS) on June 30th. This affects customers who use a very old smartphone or who have a contract that does not include the newer 4G / LTE standard. These are few consumers: At Vodafone, 3G accounted for 2.5 percent of mobile data traffic at the turn of the year. O2 wants to switch off the 3G network by the end of the year. Telephone calls or classic SMS messages are still possible because the second-generation cellular standard (2G / Edge), which is geared towards telephony, remains in place.
Anyone who builds or renovates a house and wants federal funding for it must comply with new rules from July 1st. Then the new “Federal Funding for Efficient Buildings” (BEG) takes effect, replacing several programs of the Bank KfW and the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control. This should make the funding more attractive. In addition, only one application has to be submitted.
Anyone who orders smaller goods in non-EU countries such as the USA, China or Switzerland must expect higher costs from July 1st. Then the import sales tax will also be paid for items for which an exemption limit of 22 euros previously applied. As with VAT, a rate of 19 percent applies to many products in Germany. Seven percent are due for books. For the actual duty, which is also levied, there is still an exemption limit of 150 euros.
Little by little, all of the schoolchildren in Germany are getting a long vacation. Bavaria will be the last federal state to start on July 30th. Until August 1st, all students in Germany are on vacation for a weekend./rew/DP/zb