• Germany's news in English

Bahn CEO suggests talks with Stuttgart 21 critics

AFP/DPA/The Local · 28 Aug 2010, 15:28

Published: 28 Aug 2010 15:28 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"We need to start acting like grown-ups," Grube said, adding that a discussion could be scheduled for September.

Organisers of the peaceful demonstration estimated that 50,000 people rallied Friday evening against the multi-billion-euro Stuttgart 21 project, which aims to transform the city into an important European rail crossroads. Police figures put the tally at 30,000 protesters.

Braving pouring rain, demonstrators came face-to-face with police after forming a human chain around the state parliament, shouting, "We're here to stay!" Friday's rally followed another protest two days earlier, which organisers said drew 12,000 people.

Despite Friday's public demonstration, work to demolish the northern wing of the Stuttgart station continued on Saturday.

In an interview with broadcaster SWR, Grube said he would not accept any preconditions to a dialog, to which the Greens' Baden-Württemberg state parliamentary leader Winfried Kretschmann, as well as Tübingen mayor Boris Palmer, would be invited.

Grube said he agreed to the roundtable suggestion with one of the project's supporters, Baden-Württemberg state premier Stefan Mappus.

"The communication over Stuttgart 21 and Wendlingen-Ulm has simply gone really, really badly," Grube told the broadcaster.

"Let's sit down at a table and continue with the exchange – particularly of the facts," he said. "What we cannot do is have someone say, 'My opinion will not change.'"

State Green Party leader Kretschmann welcomed Grube's offer but said the discussion must include members of the broader alliance opposing the €4.5-billion project.

"We'll certainly talk with Bahn CEO Grube," Kretschmann said. "We were the ones that issued an invitation to Grube and other political representatives on the supporter side for a discussion, but it was brusquely rejected until now."

The project aims to make the city of 600,000 part of one of the longest high-speed lines in Europe, the 1,500-kilometre (930-mile) "Magistrale for Europe" linking Paris, Strasbourg, Munich, Vienna and Bratislava, and Budapest.

Story continues below…

Engineers plan to blast 16 tunnels and cuttings into the many surrounding hills, build 18 new bridges, lay 60 kilometres (40 miles) of new train track and create three new stations.

Stuttgart's station will be utterly transformed, from a terminus into an underground through-station, so that trains no longer have to chug in and back out but can whiz through on their way to other European destinations.

The project, part-funded by the European Union, includes restructuring the Stuttgart rail node, creating a link to the city's airport and constructing a new line between nearby Wendlingen and Ulm.

Opponents object in particular to the side wings of the train station building, an interwar modernist classic designed by Paul Bonatz, falling victim to the wrecking ball.

AFP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd