Berlin: Give foreigners a referendum vote
The Local · 17 Jul 2014, 14:32
Published: 17 Jul 2014 14:32 GMT+02:00
- Berliners hail Tempelhof referendum win (26 May 14)
- Berlin voters reject Tempelhof development (26 May 14)
- Future of Berlin Airlift site hangs in balance (28 Jan 14)
The issue came to a head earlier this year when almost half a million people in the capital were unable to vote in the referendum over whether Tempelhofer Feld should be developed, because they did not have German citizenship.
Asked whether foreigners who had lived in Germany long-term should be allowed to vote in referendums, just 27 percent were against and four percent undecided.
Those most likely to say yes to foreigners voting were supporters of the far-left party, Die Linke, while those most opposed were voters of the centre-right CDU party - but even 59 percent of their supporters were in favour.
Almost 500,000 people living in Berlin were unable to vote in the Tempelhof referendum in May over whether the park should be developed because of their nationality.
The Pirate Party has called for everyone registered as living in Germany to be allowed the vote.
“They've lived in Berlin for years and decades but can’t have a say in important decisions which affect their lives,” Pirate Party politician Fabio Reinhardt said.
At the moment, more than seven million people living in Germany are classed as foreigners and can therefore not take part in elections.
The only exception is for citizens of other EU countries who are allowed to vote in town or city municipal elections and European elections.
The next important referendum in Berlin is likely to be whether or not the city should apply to host the Olympic Games.