• Germany edition
 
Bonn to Berlin move still controversial
Wolfgang Thierse holds the Reichstag key in 1999. Photo: DPA

Bonn to Berlin move still controversial

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

Two decades after the German parliament decided to move the government from the Cold War capital of Bonn back to Berlin, some politicians still disagree over whether all functions should be brought from the state of North-Rhine Westphalia.

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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo
Yasar Calik. Photo: Facebook/Yasar Calik

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo

A Christian Democrat (CDU) town council candidate has apologised and withdrawn campaign bags on which he had printed a new party logo where the Turkish crescent appeared inside the "C" for Christian. READ () »

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand
Lufthansa's daughter company Germanwings is one of the faster-growing budget airlines in Germany. Photo: DPA

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand

Budget airlines are expanding their range of routes from Germany but ticket prices are climbing along with them, a report from the German Aeronautics Centre (DLR) revealed on Thursday. READ () »

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened
Bernie Ecclestone with his lawyers in a Munich court on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened

UPDATE: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Germany on Thursday, denying charges of bribery that threaten to land the British billionaire in jail. READ () »

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'
Photo: DPA

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'

A revamped version of European student exchange programme Erasmus officially launched in Berlin on Thursday with Germany's education minister praising the scheme as a Europe-wide “success story”. READ () »

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid
Photo: DPA

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid

A German couple has lost their legal fight to get a refund for a Turkish holiday which they said was ruined by the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque. It is just one of a series of court claims by picky German tourists. READ () »

Germany halts arms sales to Russia
Russian troops surround a Ukrainian base in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany halts arms sales to Russia

Germany has stopped selling arms to Russia due to the current “political situation”, according to reports on Thursday. The sale of military equipment to Russia by German firms has been criticized by the country’s Nato allies. READ () »

Truck kills man lying in middle of road
Photo: DPA

Truck kills man lying in middle of road

Police were searching for witnesses on Wednesday morning following a mysterious road accident in which a 25-year-old man was killed as he lay in the middle of the road. READ () »

Where are Germany's smartest towns?
Germany's cleverest town. Photo: DPA

Where are Germany's smartest towns?

A brain training website released scores on Wednesday showing which German towns performed best and worst in a range of cognitive tests - with some surprising results. READ () »

April wraps up with stormy week ahead
Lightning over Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

April wraps up with stormy week ahead

The end of April is looking stormy for Germany with hot and cold air mixing and making for wild spring weather over the coming few days, state forecasters DWD said on Wednesday. READ () »

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Russian troops pictured in March in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia

Germany arms sales to Russia have come under fire following the crisis in Ukraine. In 2012 Germany sold €40 million worth of rifles, pistols and armoured vehicles to the country. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Girls find live ammunition in Easter bonfire
Photo: Facebook/screenshot
Berlin
Germany's most viral advert for an apartment?
Gallery
11 things you need to know about German beer
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Advertisement:
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

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

3,077
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd