• Germany's news in English

Künast to run for Berlin mayor in 2011

The Local · 6 Nov 2010, 09:03

Published: 06 Nov 2010 09:03 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Renate Künast, 54, a parliamentary group leader of the resurgent Greens party, which is posting record support across the country and in the capital, said she would challenge Wowereit for city hall.

"I am ready – I am running for the office of Berlin mayor," the spiky-haired former party leader and ex-federal agriculture minister told a gathering of Greens members.

"Berliners want a new beginning and many of them want it with us."

Berlin is both the national capital and one of Germany's 16 federal states. The election is due in September 2011.

Künast, who is from the Greens' centrist camp, would be its first female mayor.

A popular Social Democrat (SPD), Wowereit coined the motto "poor but sexy" to describe the once-divided city, a slogan Künast slammed as a capitulation to 13-percent unemployment and a lack of industry.

Wowereit belongs to the party's left wing and has been mentioned as a potential rival to Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2013. But a defeat to Künast would likely dash those hopes.

The Berlin election is one of six state polls next year, which could also see Merkel's ailing conservatives punished.

A countrywide survey for ARD public television Friday showed the Greens at an all-time high with 22 percent support.

Merkel's Christian Union bloc tallied 32 percent, while their partners, the pro-business Free Democrats, were stuck at just five percent. The SPD posted 27 percent.

In Berlin, surveys show the Greens as the strongest party, with nearly 30 percent support.

Story continues below…

Political scientists say the party is profiting from dissatisfaction with Merkel's fractious government as well as a re-invigorated anti-nuclear power movement.

Merkel's government controversially wants to extend the lifetime of Germany's 17 reactors by up to 14 years beyond a scheduled shutdown of around 2020.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:28 November 6, 2010 by Deutschguy
If the Greens are to be successful, they will have to balance their opposition to nuclear power expansion, in a time of more expensive and less available fossil fuel energy, with industrial development in the city/state of Berlin. Job creation should be paramount.

There is still much available vacant land that industries can utilize here. I hope with Künast's election, a greater focus can be made on luring business to Berlin from abroad, as well as from other German states.

I never felt there was enough aggressive marketing to businesses to find out what the Berlin government could do to get them to relocate here. It always seemed to be a simple laying out of what was good about Berlin and hoping that a company would just automatically see the advantages.

You don't wait for it to fall in your lap, you have to go out and get it. Even if it means taking it away from some other state. "What do I have to offer you to get you to move your company to Berlin." And then offer it, and if local politicians refuse to go along, bludgeon them with not creating jobs, in the press.
Today's headlines
Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
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
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd