The Brief: a time-travel trip in a Trabant - 'Ostalgia' in Brussels

The Brief: a time-travel trip in a Trabant - 'Ostalgia' in Brussels
By Sandor Zsiros, Meabh McMahon, Laura Ruiz Trullols
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In Germany, Ostalgia is a nostalgic feeling for certain aspects of life in Communist East Germany. But beyond memories, some in Brussels think that there were a few aspects of socialism that should make a comeback.


Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin fall people still think there are lessons to be learned from socialism.

We met with a Portuguese man living in Brussels who owns a Trabant, the iconic car from East Germany. He says some aspects of the socialist economy are worth reconsidering.

"I am not saying that the socialist model in East Germany was ideal. But we must at least stop for a minute to think if there are other models that are possible. For example this was a model (trabi) that was designed in the late 50s and was produced with minor changes until 1991. And nowadays we buy a car and change it every three years and every three years the brand will release a new version of their car and I don't find it particularly sustainable," José Gonçalves told Euronews.

But this doesn't herald an ideological return.

"I don't think that people would like to go back to East German socialism. This is not the question," Martin Schirdewan, German MEP explains.

"It is about the fact that today's society needs to become more social and that the GDR and life in East Germany had achieved a higher degree of equality. I believe that we need to start talking to each other about the GDR and about German re-unification in a much more differentiated way."

Commission impossible?

Three more candidates will head to hearings this week hoping to join Team Ursula. The Romanian, Hungarian and French nominees will face a grilling from MEPs on Thursday. If they pass the test, their candidatures will be put to vote before the full parliament with the aim of the new commission taking up their posts from December.

And also...EU top court rules on Israeli settlement products

The EU's top court has ruled that products from Israeli settlements must be labelled as such, in a decision likely to anger Tel Aviv but largely welcomed by human rights groups.

"Foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin, accompanied, where those foodstuffs come from an Israeli settlement within that territory, by the indication of that provenance" the ruling stated.

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