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Costs of hard winter feared

The Local · 17 Jan 2011, 08:52

Published: 17 Jan 2011 08:52 GMT+01:00

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Expenses and damages are currently at “a level that no one can estimate,” daily Bild quoted from the report.

Repeated snowstorms that led to transportation chaos across the country will have serious financial ramifications, the report said.

“A transportation system that also functions smoothly even in extreme weather conditions doesn’t come free,” it added.

But because this was clearly not the case, Germany would need to conduct “societal debate and compromise over how much it’s worth to us all,” Bild quoted.

Meanwhile transportation policy spokesman for the pro-business Free Democrats Patrick Döring warned that Germans may be burdened with a “pothole tax” or “winter fee” to help pay for damages caused this winter.

Story continues below…


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:49 January 17, 2011 by catjones
My friend slipped on the Berlin sidewalks and tore his ligaments. Was in the hospital for four days and will be in recovery for six weeks. Can't drive his car and can't go to work so his wife has to take time off to take care of him. All this because Berliners are too lazy to shovel their walks.
10:59 January 17, 2011 by PawD
I don't understand why ordinary residents of Berlin have to do the job? Why can't the authorities employ professionals to do the job? When professionals are involved then there is always an accountability... so the job will always be done correctly!
11:31 January 17, 2011 by Clapoti
"Germans may be burdened with a ¦quot;pothole tax¦quot; or ¦quot;winter fee¦quot;"

Any excuses in Germany is good for a new tax :P
13:55 January 17, 2011 by catjones
@PawD...for the same reason ordinary citizens cook their own meals and clean their own windows. Shoveling snow is not a 'profession'.

On second thought, there may be snow shoveling classes, exams and certificates.....after all this is DL.
21:46 January 17, 2011 by Gretl
@catjones As I understand this litigous society, the homeowner will be paying for his hospital bill, time loss from work and his wife's time off.

@PawD you're not from a snow country, are you? You are lucky to get street plowed. Sidewalks are up to the landowner.
22:16 January 17, 2011 by bartschaff
This 'confidential report is just a made up justification for new taxes, and these 'released part's' are only to prepare the mood for them. Disgusting.

@Greti: which kind of 'snow country' are you, where the streets are not plowed? They are public, it's obviously the state's job to take care of them.

@catjones: your friend should be more careful. And you can't be sure that there was laziness involved - when it becomes ice, there's no practical way to clean it with a shovel, and often salt isn't allowed; besides, people have to go to work as well, so any snow/ice that accumulates during the day is something people should be able to deal with.

And what's the problem with the idea of professionals taking care of the shovelling? Professionals take care of our trash, bring our mail, ... there's nothing absurd with the idea of cleaning the sidewalks.
01:42 January 18, 2011 by DepotCat
In the UK only main roads get cleared of snow. Side roads do not and neither do pavements...{sorry, side walks}...Some people do clear the pavement outside of their property, but it is at their own risk just in case someone does slip and then become litigous. Most people just don't take the chance.
09:12 January 18, 2011 by catjones
@bartschaff...obviously you've never been to Berlin. Zero sidewalks are cleaned and it's not because everyone was working.

Blaming the victim you must be German.
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