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three young men hold signs with taxis all around

Frederik Roeder (centre) and fellow students protest anti-Uber taxi work stoppage in Berlin in June 2014. Courtesy: Frederik Roeder.

Uber has quickly become the most contentious technology company in Germany, challenging the taxi establishment as well as regulators across the country, as attempts to ban the chauffeur app leap from the municipal to the national stage. The following is an excerpt of an opinion piece I pitched and edited for The Local Germany.


As Uber and its chauffeur app continue to operate in Germany despite a national ban, one faithful user tells The Local why he became a fan of the company and the app from day one.

There are three major reasons why I prefer Uber to a regular taxi:

1 – Price: Uber Pop offers urban rides at a great price, cheaper than legacy taxis by at least 20 percent.

2 – Convenience: Uber is convenient; it’s easy to use and to pay with credit card.

3 – Quality and Safety: You can get a really nice ride in a fancy car and the app knows where you are and who is driving you.

Read the full opinion piece on The Local Germany, here.

illuminated signs in the Frankfurt Airport terminal, blurred figures in the background

Franfurt Airport, Terminal ‘A’. Source: Flickr user AngeloAngelo (Angelo DeSantis), http://bit.ly/1I6x4tu

Figures from the European Union show that while many German professionals are able to find work abroad with their well-recognized qualifications, Germany doesn’t always extend the same courtesy to foreigners.

From 2003 to the end of 2013, Germany topped the list of countries whose professionals have sought to relocate and be accredited in other European countries, with 45,175 licensed professionals trying to establish themselves around Europe, mainly in Switzerland and Austria.

Germans also enjoyed the one of the highest rates of recognition around Europe, with 89 percent of professionals like doctors, nurses, teachers and architects being accredited outside Germany.

Read the full article on The Local Germany, here.

a senior couple walks down an empty pedestrian street

A senior couple walk down Delmenhorst’s main pedestrian promenade, amid a string of vacant storefronts.

Home to two-thirds of Germany’s population, many of its small cities and towns are struggling to revive their declining centres. The Local’s Tomas Urbina reports from Delmenhorst in Lower Saxony, as it tries to dig its way out of the economic doldrums.

It’s 2 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon and the downtown promenades in Delmenhorst, built for the bustle of pedestrian city life, are mostly deserted. A trail of signs in empty glass storefronts leads visitors through the main drag, calling out in muted desperation: “To Let.”

It wasn’t always like this, says 65-year-old Ewald Bieler, a civil engineer who retired last year after a career working for this northwestern Germany municipality with some 74,000 inhabitants.

Read the full article on The Local Germany, here.