• Germany's news in English

Bonn to Berlin move still controversial

The Local · 15 Jun 2011, 08:16

Published: 15 Jun 2011 08:16 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Bundestag Vice President Wolfgang Thierse spoke on Tuesday to mark next week’s anniversary of the decision to move, calling for all ministries which are still in Bonn to be brought north to Berlin.

But Peter Hintze, head of the North-Rhine Westphalian Christian Democratic group said the original agreement should be maintained – by which a number of ministries remained in Bonn.

The original vote was tight – 338 votes to 320 in favour of the move – reflecting the groupings on both sides of the argument that had formed regardless of political party.

The compromise was struck that all ministries would maintain offices in Bonn, while six would remain there entirely. Nearly half of the 20,000 ministry staff still work in Bonn, in these ministries and a collection of other offices. Those in Bonn are the ministries for defence, agriculture and consumer affairs, economic cooperation and development, environment, health and education and research.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said the original Bonn-Berlin law should be respected, but admitted that changes could be possible. He said he had been strongly in favour of the move to Berlin 20 years ago.

“Changes are naturally – as with all contracts – possible in agreement between the contract partners,” he told the magazine Super Illu.

“The division is not sensible in the long term,” argued Thierse, saying the communication within the political body was not helped by the 500 kilometre distance between the cities. He did not call for an immediate move, but said sensible steps could be taken to improve the capabilities of the ministries.

Hintze, who in 1991 had voted against the move, said Bonn remained important symbolically.

“Bonn stands for the German contribution to the European Union and that we returned morally and politically to the circle of free peoples,” he said, although he admitted the move to Berlin was correct.

Thierse said Berlin was also an important symbol of a new Germany. “That German politics now takes place in the middle of East Germany is also an important political-psychological point,” he said.

Story continues below…

He said fears that Bonn would be destroyed by the departure of the government had not materialized. “Bonn is doing gloriously,” he said. “Bonn was not damaged economically, socially or culturally by this decision. It is a thriving city.”


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:19 June 15, 2011 by John Whitehurst
Politics abound and the waste of money for politics never seems to end.

What does it cost to maintain the different Ministeries in Bonn?

What would it cost to move and house them In berlin? And wht would be the real reason for the move?

If Oboma would move all of the different Ministeries in DC to different states they could perhaps save over 50 Billion a year just cost savings of not being in the DC loop.

Berlin cost of living is how much higher than Bonn?

It never is a good idea to put all ones egges in one basket ( Location ).....

How much additional traffic would this add to Berlin and associated cost in time and travel? Idiots at work again....

11:11 June 15, 2011 by LecteurX
John, if you care to read German, you'll find with the following link that real estate in Bonn is approximately 28% more expensive in Bonn than in Berlin...


Then of course the "Spreebogen" area and other parts of Berlin where they locate the ministries are arguably the expensive parts of Berlin... it's possibly the same in Bonn as well, mind you.
18:07 June 15, 2011 by MJMH
Come on Germany. If you want to be taken seriously all posts Ministries must be in Berlin. That's just the way countries work. The USA, Japan, France, even Denmark.
22:29 June 15, 2011 by catjones
Show me an example where distance helps communication.
08:15 June 16, 2011 by DoubleDTown
"even" Denmark?
14:19 June 16, 2011 by moistvelvet
Seems only to be controversial to those government civil servants that may have to move to Berlin. If they don't like it then they could always leave their cushy well paid jobs. But they won't will they.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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