Postcard from... Berlin
She may be a conservative Christian Democrat, but Angela Merkel enjoys being described as the “greenest” Chancellor the Germans have ever had. The reputation does not stem entirely from her post-Fukushima policy U-turn which prompted her to announce an abrupt end to German nuclear power.
Even before becoming Chancellor, Ms Merkel is said to have been so fastidious about energy saving that she changed every light bulb in her Berlin apartment to ensure they were of the sort that consumed minimal power. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the German capital’s new airport in waiting – the disaster prone and still inoperative Berlin Brandenburg International. Originally scheduled to open in June last year, the multi-billion euro project is so fraught with technical problems, design errors and construction blunders that nobody can predict a realistic date for the first take-off or landing.
The taxpayers are expected to pick up a massive bill in the region of €4.3bn when it is finally finished. But the true gravity of the situation was underlined this week with the news that the airport management is incapable of turning off the hundreds of arc lights which burn outside the main terminal building 24/7.
Horst Amann, the airport’s browbeaten technical director, confessed: “It has to do with the fact that we haven’t progressed far enough with our lighting system to be in a position to control it.” It sounds like a challenge for the “green Chancellor” who faces a general election this year. There are rumours that she may have to be called in to lead the hunt for the airport light switch.
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for possible title change
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Kaya Responsible Travel offer a variety of sp...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Volunteer with Kaya in Borneo and work on a p...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: If you have a passion for elephants and want ...