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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Berlin-Splitter (6)

Well, that was a pleasant week. Sunny but not too hot, and it looks like it might continue that way for a couple of days more. Meanwhile here are some more factoids from the last seven days in Berlin.

The Tiergarten Tunnel, the north-south road tunnel under the Tiergarten which opened earlier this year after many delays, is becoming more popular with Berlin's drivers - in the six months since opening more than 4 million vehicles have passed through it, according to Berlin's traffic bureau.

The French are suffering from US foreign policy again: the new American embassy, located on Pariser Platz, will be protected in part by some solid bollards in the ornamental rectangular flower-beds on the square itself. For reasons of symmetry Berlin's gardening heritage people have insisted the same pollards be build on the square's opposite side too, "protecting" the French Embassy in Berlin as well. (Why the Americans didn't build their embassy on one of Berlin's many islands is a mystery to me - it'd be much safer for all concerned).

The Palast der Republik's demolition just got a little more expensive (again): an extra €9.6 million will be needed according to current estimates to deal with asbestos which is still popping up in unexpected places.

The unending Tempelhof Airport saga continues: the airlines based their are suing Berlin to keep the airport open. And the politicians are mucking about two: the federal government is making noises that it might be an idea to retain Tempelhof, and Deutsche Bahn boss Hartmut Mehdorn has even suggested DB could take over the running of the airport.

A small miracle: something's getting cheaper. Yes: electricity prices in Berlin are due to drop by about 5% following an edict from the network regulatory authority to the local electricity provider, Vattenfall (formerly: BEWAG).

And finally: Sunday is election day: if you're an EU citizen registered in Berlin, don't forget to go and vote: it helps keep the nasty right-wingers out of local government.

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