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Now Berlin airport won't open before 2015

Published: 17 Jan 2013 12:23 GMT+01:00

Rainer Schwarz managed the multi-billion euro project for six years, at the behest of Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, apparently on the recommendation of the then head of Air Berlin Joachim Hunold who knew Schwarz from his work in charge of Düsseldorf airport. Air Berlin is now suing for catastrophic losses as a result of the delay.

Schwarz' departure has been on the cards since last week when Wowereit agreed to give up the job of chairing the supervisory board, giving way to his Brandenburg counterpart Matthias Platzeck.

Platzeck immediately announced that Schwarz was history upon taking up his seat on Wednesday.

The Tagesspiegel newspaper reported on Thursday that Schwarz could be blamed for much of the rolling disaster that the airport has become - double its original €2 billion price tag and already a well-worn joke in the public eye.

While Platzeck was taking his seat and Schwarz was vacating his, technical manager Horst Amann soberly said he did not expect to be finished before 2015. He was brought in to take on the project last September after the June 2012 opening was cancelled at embarrassingly short notice.

Many hopes have been pinned on the veteran of Frankfurt airport's extension, whose main public role so far has been to try to dampen down exactly those hopes.

He said this week it would take some serious time to work out exactly what was going on at the enormous building site - what was complete, what needed to be re-done and what still needed sorting out.

And that is before anything significant is undertaken.

The search for a new manager has now begun. Platzeck's first statement on the matter was that the airport corporation - made up of representatives from the Brandenburg and Berlin states and the federal government - would not be able to pay for everyone who might be deemed capable of taking on the project.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:52 January 17, 2013 by Dalmation
Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizarre and Unprecedented. Well maybe not Unprecedented but the other three apply for sure. What a complete C0ck up.
19:44 January 17, 2013 by raandy
Tear it down, hire a reputable General Contractor and start over, this is a lost cause, thanks Wovie.
22:04 January 17, 2013 by coffeelover
So that's it? Oops, sorry we lied about building an airport for you when we really just pocketed the money and went through the motions. No investigation? No one held accountable? This is incredible that people ripped off Germany, and now, it seems nobody in Germany really cares!! Makes me ashamed of my German roots.
00:02 January 18, 2013 by neunElf
Looks like the good citizens of Bavaria, BW & Hesse need to send some more wealth to Berlin so it can be squandered on more of this boondoggle!
00:17 January 18, 2013 by Dalmation
Don't come to Berlin to get a job done. Come to Berlin to get wasted.
09:06 January 18, 2013 by chicagolive
The craziness about this is that their is no massive protest against this gross, no correction criminal use of public funds. It is even more crazy that people went crazy over Stuttgart 21 pretending like nobody knew the cost, even though the whole project was laid out for 10 years before ground even broke. Hell idiots are still protesting acting like this was some new project out of no where.
10:03 January 18, 2013 by smart2012
Chicago live, do not be surprised. Germans do not protest, they follow. In any of the other countries people would be on the street to fight against 450 euro jobs and temporary agency, which have brought poverty in Germany to 30%. This is the advantage (for stability) but also disadvantage of Germany. Germans follow good but also bad people without questioning.
00:08 January 25, 2013 by raben
German efficiency is a myth...
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