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More construction in former West Germany called for

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More construction in former West Germany called for
Photo: DPA
11:36 CET+01:00
After 20 years of reconstruction, the former East Germany has some of the world's finest infrastructure. Now, Germany's new transport minister says it's time for the country to once again invest heavily in the former West Germany.

There's a “considerable backlog” of major construction projects in western Germany, said newly sworn-in Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer, a member of the Bavarian Christian Social Union, in an interview with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Thanks to a 5.5 percent “Solidarity tax” levied on all German taxpayers and hundreds of billions of euros worth of state funds, East German roads, bridges, tunnels and other infrastructure were pulled from their dilapidated Communist-era state into the 21st century within 20 years - but sometimes at the expense of projects in what was West Germany, said Ramsauer.

Among the projects Ramsauer is keen to push forward include building out a ring motor way around Cologne, making the A1 autobahn six lanes on all stretches and completing a new high-speed rail line from Nuremberg to Berlin.

Ramsauer made clear he does not intend to end projects underway in what Germans sometimes call “the new states” of eastern Germany.

“The traffic projects of Germany unity will be taken to their end. I am also the federal traffic minister for all of Germany!” Ramsauer told the newspaper, who also said he hoped to see the number of electric autos of German roads rise from the hundreds today, to over one million by 2020.

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