Toilet theft at interior ministry causes a stink
Thieves have stolen toilet seats, taps and loo paper holders from the new interior ministry building in Berlin, making it difficult for mandarins to get comfortable in their new surroundings.
“In the days before the relocation, in association with the furnishing and final cleaning of the offices, in a few circumstances the usability of sanitary systems was impaired,” waffled a spokesperson for the ministry to the Berliner Zeitung on Monday.
Or as one employee put it: “Many of the toilets are unusable. The atmosphere is rather strained.”
Whole toilet areas in the €208 million building were stripped of their fittings, according to the Berliner Zeitung.
Employees moved into the building at the end of April and since then most of the missing equipment has been replaced, according to the newspaper.
The spokesperson said that they have no idea who was responsible for the theft.
This is not the first time robbers have stolen fittings from a major government building. In March, thieves stole plumbing from the new building for Germany's spy agency the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst).
The subsequent leaks caused serious damage to the building.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has recently spoken with concern at the rising frequency of break-ins in the country, lecturing Germans on the need to be vigilant about securing their homes.
After now a second embarrassment to hit a top security government building this year, it seems de Maizière no longer has a leg to stand on.
Or rather, he doesn't have a toilet seat to sit on.