• Germany's news in English

State government offers olive branch to Stuttgart protestors

The Local · 5 Oct 2010, 09:00

Published: 05 Oct 2010 09:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“We will let it stand as is,” state Environment Minister Tanja Gönner told broadcaster ZDF. “And I believe that is a signal.”

But the minister rejected calls for a total suspension of construction on the site after protests in southwestern city turned ugly last week, with more than 100 people injured when police used water cannons, pepper spray and batons to break up the crowds blockading the work site.

The environmentalist Green party has since called for nationwide protest of the €7-billion project and demanded a halt to construction as a re-condition for negotiations with the growing number of opponents.

On Monday night tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered outside Stuttgart’s main train station once again. Police estimated that some 25,000 came out to voice their disapproval of the project, but organisers said they counted about 55,000.

But members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats encouraged the protestors to open the way to reconciliation without imposing preconditions.

Agreeing to talks conducted by an independent mediator would provide the “chance to bring the discussion back to a practical level and begin constructive dialogue,” CDU state parliamentarian Joachim Pfeifer told daily Handelsblatt. But he added: “It’s clear there will be no stop to construction.”

Meanwhile a Stuttgart state parliamentary committee on Tuesday plans to address the police operation that turned violent last Thursday.

Click here for photos of the protest.

Story continues below…

The construction in Stuttgart is part of a massive undertaking to make the city part of a 1,500-kilometre high-speed rail route across Europe. It will require 16 new tunnels, 18 new bridges, 60 kilometres of new train track and three new stations. Stuttgart's terminus will be transformed into an underground through-station – requiring a dramatic re-landscaping of the centre.


Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

10:58 October 5, 2010 by freechoice
Good job!! People power reign over Gubernatorial yielding to corporate interests!
11:11 October 5, 2010 by pepsionice
@ Small Town Boy

I hope you realize that Wiki isn't 100 percent factual....and that 's often edited by people with agendas.

As for the World Heritage site....I would note that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of such nominees out there. Typically, it's a political process within UNESCO. The amusing thing about this discussion is that we could line up 1,000 Stuttgart residents, and I would readily believe that over 800 would tell us that it's an outdated building with no real reason to retain. If the locals feel that way about the place....they might be telling us something.
09:39 October 6, 2010 by rap
Ah--- if we had just seen all the energy that citizens have invested in this protest in Stuttgart, invested in protests against a much costlier project: the bank bailouts with their several hundred billions of euros of taxpayers money spent. But leaving that aside: I think it would be beneficial for the Stuttgart citizens to look beyond their own city and region and not to loose touch with important changes that are going on globally, in the transport sector. For example, if the resumed Russian-American discussions about the construction of a railway tunnel under the Bering Strait, between Alaska and Siberia, bear fruit in the near future, large volumes of commodity will be transported in either direction, and although most of that will end up somewhere in Siberia, China, USA, Canada, a good part of that will also seek its way to, and from Europe. Germany better be prepared for getting these millions of tons on rail, rather than the highways.

I know the Stuttgart 21 project is not for transports of goods, at least not in the fist place, but bringing the commodity aspect into the dialogue which Deutsche Bahn and the politicians are offering now, is exactly what should be done now, I think. As for the aforesaid Bering Strait Tunnel project, more info at www.schillerinstitute.org.

Regards (from Germany)

Rainer Apel
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