Berlin better than Munich in managers’ eyes, Frankfurt still top

The German capital is becoming more attractive to businesses, overtaking Munich in an international ranking for the first time, according to a poll of managers.

Berlin better than Munich in managers' eyes, Frankfurt still top
Photo: DPA

The top German city remains Frankfurt am Main, which ranks third in Europe behind London and Paris, in this year’s European Cities Monitor survey produced by Cushman & Wakefield property consultancy.

Researchers asked 500 managers of European companies which city offered the best conditions for their business, for criteria including personnel costs, business environment, access to grants, appropriate office space, transport links, fast data links and quality of life.

After Frankfurt, Berlin was ranked seventh, after being ninth last year, and just 15th in 1990. Munich was this year ranked ninth, while Düsseldorf came tenth, an improvement on last year’s 15th place, and Hamburg was 15th, a drop from last year’s ranking of 12th.

Berlin was ranked top in two categories – the availability of office space and the attempts to improve its facilities. It was also highly credited for transport, coming third over all, and the availability of qualified personnel where it was ranked fifth.

Despite its well-reported appeal to younger creative people and students, Berlin’s quality of life was only ranked 13th in Europe by managers. In this respect Barcelona was ranked very highly, Moscow as least attractive.

Yet of the European cities included in the survey, Moscow was tipped as the one to which most businesses wanted to move in the next five years. Berlin and Munich shared joint 20th position in this question.

The top five were London, Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels and Barcelona. The bottom five were Bratislava, Moscow, Oslo, Bucharest and Athens.

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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.