Sunday, April 27, 2008

Berlin's Tempelhof Referendum Fails Amid Unexpected Low Turnout

Climateer Investing & Cie. (okay, that's just an affectation, probably fueled by Zurich envy: Bordier & Cie, Hottinger & Cie, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie, Mirabaud & Cie, Pictet & Cie [some of these are actually headquartered in Genève with offices in Zurich]) wrote about Tempelhof in "Ag Stocks and The Berlin Airlift (AG; MOS; MON; POT) " because:

a) The overwhelming majority of cargo by tonnage was coal.
b) We were coming up on Easter and I wanted to mention the "Easter Parade".
c) I get a kick out of
über-realism (see the post)
d) the whole saga was, as the Los Angeles Times said yesterday, "... In what is now considered one of the greatest operations in aviation history..."

Today Bloomberg is reporting:

Berlin's Tempelhof Referendum Fails Amid Unexpected Low Turnout
An initiative to save Berlin's Tempelhof airport from closure failed to win enough support as voters, primarily in the city's former communist east, opted not to turn up at polling stations in a city-wide referendum.

With 99.8 percent of ballots counted, 21.7 percent of registered voters cast ballots to keep the airport, short of the 25 percent necessary to validate the non-binding referendum, Berlin's State Election Office said in an e-mailed statement. Total turnout was 36 percent, compared with a Berliner-Zeitung poll yesterday showing that 47 percent had planned to vote.

Tempelhof, the main site of the post-World War II Berlin Airlift, has become the focal point of a movement that sought to preserve the historic building. The referendum's collapse is a victory for Mayor Klaus Wowereit, who spearheaded plans to close the airfield by October and shift all flights and operations to a refurbished airport on the German capital's outer limits....MORE

Help from the sky
Associated Press
Children in 1948 West Berlin, isolated by a Soviet blockade, watch as a U.S. plane delivers food to Tempelhof Airport.