• Germany's news in English
 

Bonn to Berlin move still controversial

Published: 15 Jun 2011 08:16 GMT+02:00

Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Thierse spoke on Tuesday to mark next week’s anniversary of the decision to move, calling for all ministries which are still in Bonn to be brought north to Berlin.

But Peter Hintze, head of the North-Rhine Westphalian Christian Democratic group said the original agreement should be maintained – by which a number of ministries remained in Bonn.

The original vote was tight – 338 votes to 320 in favour of the move – reflecting the groupings on both sides of the argument that had formed regardless of political party.

The compromise was struck that all ministries would maintain offices in Bonn, while six would remain there entirely. Nearly half of the 20,000 ministry staff still work in Bonn, in these ministries and a collection of other offices. Those in Bonn are the ministries for defence, agriculture and consumer affairs, economic cooperation and development, environment, health and education and research.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said the original Bonn-Berlin law should be respected, but admitted that changes could be possible. He said he had been strongly in favour of the move to Berlin 20 years ago.

“Changes are naturally – as with all contracts – possible in agreement between the contract partners,” he told the magazine Super Illu.

“The division is not sensible in the long term,” argued Thierse, saying the communication within the political body was not helped by the 500 kilometre distance between the cities. He did not call for an immediate move, but said sensible steps could be taken to improve the capabilities of the ministries.

Hintze, who in 1991 had voted against the move, said Bonn remained important symbolically.

“Bonn stands for the German contribution to the European Union and that we returned morally and politically to the circle of free peoples,” he said, although he admitted the move to Berlin was correct.

Thierse said Berlin was also an important symbol of a new Germany. “That German politics now takes place in the middle of East Germany is also an important political-psychological point,” he said.

He said fears that Bonn would be destroyed by the departure of the government had not materialized. “Bonn is doing gloriously,” he said. “Bonn was not damaged economically, socially or culturally by this decision. It is a thriving city.”

DAPD/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:19 June 15, 2011 by John Whitehurst
Politics abound and the waste of money for politics never seems to end.

What does it cost to maintain the different Ministeries in Bonn?

What would it cost to move and house them In berlin? And wht would be the real reason for the move?

If Oboma would move all of the different Ministeries in DC to different states they could perhaps save over 50 Billion a year just cost savings of not being in the DC loop.

Berlin cost of living is how much higher than Bonn?

It never is a good idea to put all ones egges in one basket ( Location ).....

How much additional traffic would this add to Berlin and associated cost in time and travel? Idiots at work again....

John
11:11 June 15, 2011 by LecteurX
John, if you care to read German, you'll find with the following link that real estate in Bonn is approximately 28% more expensive in Bonn than in Berlin...

http://wirtschaft.t-online.de/immobilien-preise-fuer-frei-stehende-eigenheime-2009/id_19183608/index

Then of course the "Spreebogen" area and other parts of Berlin where they locate the ministries are arguably the expensive parts of Berlin... it's possibly the same in Bonn as well, mind you.
18:07 June 15, 2011 by MJMH
Come on Germany. If you want to be taken seriously all posts Ministries must be in Berlin. That's just the way countries work. The USA, Japan, France, even Denmark.
22:29 June 15, 2011 by catjones
Show me an example where distance helps communication.
08:15 June 16, 2011 by DoubleDTown
"even" Denmark?
14:19 June 16, 2011 by moistvelvet
Seems only to be controversial to those government civil servants that may have to move to Berlin. If they don't like it then they could always leave their cushy well paid jobs. But they won't will they.
Today's headlines
German women have World Cup in their sights
Germany are among the favourites. Photo: DPA archive

German women have World Cup in their sights

After getting their hands on the world cup in 2003 and 2007, the German women’s national team are trying to make it three out of the last four this summer in Canada. READ  

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'
"I don't need to justify it because it's in the Bible". Photo: DPA

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'

A head teacher at a state school in Munich is attempting to introduce a strict Christian regime by hanging crosses in the classroom and holding daily prayers. He's within the law, but parents and pupils are beginning to resist. READ  

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic
Stock image of baby ducks running. Photo: DPA.

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic

Police officers and a fire fighter crane were called in to rescue five orphaned baby ducks on Friday, stopping autobahn traffic briefly to escort them to safety. READ  

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan
The region of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. Photo: DPA

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan

An employee of the German International Development Agency (GIZ) has been released from captivity in northern Afghanistan after being taken prisoner by the Taliban six weeks ago. READ  

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet
Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Cameron arrive at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet

Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron presented a newly united front at a Berlin press conference on Friday, after their first meeting where the UK premier set out his demands for reform of the European Union. READ  

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’
Photo: DPA

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’

The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) have told the BBC that if the UK were to leave the EU it would be disastrous for both countries. READ  

At last, Germany has a new Top Model
Vanessa is over the moon. Photo:DPA

At last, Germany has a new Top Model

Everyone can breath easily again. Despite a delay of two weeks due to a bomb threat, Heidi Klum has finally been able to choose Germany’s next top model - a 19-year-old from her own home town. READ  

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football
Steinmeier had harsh words for FIFA. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football

Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday that if world football can't clear up "poisonous" corruption, state bodies need to step in, amid a graft scandal engulfing governing body FIFA. READ  

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden
G7 finance ministers in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden

Debt-wracked Greece's battle to hammer out a deal with its creditors dominated a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations in Dresden on Thursday, with officials insisting much work still lay ahead. READ  

EU investigates Germany over airport security
Photo: DPA

EU investigates Germany over airport security

The European Commission said on Thursday that it had referred Germany to the EU Court of Justice for failing to regularly check up on its airport security measures at some airports. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Fassbinder's blaze of glory
Rhineland
Defusing Cologne's giant WW2 bomb
Travel
1,000 years of Leipzig
National
Cops have nothing to go on after ministry toilet theft
Sport
The hidden history of FC Bayern Munich
Technology
In future, we may all be scraping drones off windshields
National
The 65-year-old who gave birth to quadruplets
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,720
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd