Thursday, October 19, 2006

Germany to Berlin; 'Drop Dead'

Great Abe Beame's Ghost:

Berlin (dpa) - Germany's top court Thursday refused to sanction a government-funded multibillion dollar bailout for the nation's bankrupt capital.

The court dismissed a suit filed by Germany's largest city, which is saddled with a 60-billion-euro (75-billion-dollar) debt.

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit said the city cannot repay the debt by itself and invoked a constitutional solidarity clause in a bid to win a bailout ruling from Germany's highest court.

The capital had argued that it had got into debt because the government had slashed subsidies after German unification in 1990.

But the federal constitutional court ruled that the massive debt was largely of the city's own making, but "in all probability" could be reduced if spending was brought under control.

....There have been allegations that Berlin's government - a coalition of Social Democrats with the former East German communists now called The Left Party - has not done enough to cut spending and privatize massive state holdings.

The court said the city could earn at least 5 billion euros if it sold the 270,000 apartments - 15 per cent of Berlin's total residential living space - that are under public ownership.

No comments: