Is the next coalition crash approaching? Federal Minister of Finance Lindner considers the expansion of the Federal Chancellery in Berlin to be worth millions “expendable”. Host Olaf Scholz should see it differently.
The list of differences of opinion in the traffic light coalition has grown by one entry. New bone of contention: the extension of the Federal Chancellery on Berlin’s Spree bend, which was still planned by the previous government. A six-story and two-story building with around 400 offices, a canteen, logistics and event areas and a helipad are to be built there next to the existing office of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). Costs according to government figures: 777 million euros, but given the increased construction costs, the actual price is likely to be even higher.
Federal Chancellery holds new building for “necessary”
The Federal Chancellery regards the new building as necessary. Around 200 of the 750 employees currently have no place in the existing building. “The aim of the extension is to bring all employees together again”, it is said from the house of Olaf Scholz. Currently reign “acute office shortage”the extension is “necessary”.
Finance Minister Christian Lindner sees things differently. In his fight for a balanced budget through less spending, the FDP leader sees savings potential at the Spreebogen. “I believe that in times of more home office and location-flexible work, a new building next to the Chancellery, which costs at least 800 million, is unnecessary”he said on Wednesday evening in the ARD program “Maischberger”. His experience from the Federal Ministry of Finance is that 65 percent of employees no longer work in their offices. It follows that office space can be used differently and limited. “So why such an expensive new building?”asked Linder.
The demand for a halt to the expansion plans is not new. Last October, the Bundestag discussed the topic at the request of the AfD. “We are in a crisis, and it is of course necessary to check whether the costs and risks are still in proportion or whether such a project can be postponed or adjusted”said Lindner’s party colleague Sandra Weeser at the time. “Applause from the FDP, the SPD and the Alliance 90/The Greens”was recorded in the plenary minutes.
Christian Lindner leaves “displeased” Olaf Scholz out
However, the statement of the Minister of Finance at “Maischberger” should make waves higher than the Bundestag debate, as Lindner himself knows. “I think he will be displeased that I have now suggested this here. But that’s my job”, he said, looking at Olaf Scholz, who, by the way, has not yet commented on the Finance Minister’s proposal. In any case, it is uncertain whether the chancellor will be able to benefit from the extension at all. Plans call for completion in 2028.
Nobody can refer to the coalition agreement in the traffic light dispute that may be looming. The parties have not agreed on anything on the subject.
Also read: “Official apartment in the Chancellery: Olaf Scholz conducts government business from here during his Corona illness”
Sources: , , , , , DPA news agency
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