Berlin referendum on keeping Tempelhof Airport open fails

29th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

City Mayor Klaus Wowereit said ahead of the plebiscite, pushed through by Tempelhof supporters, that he would in any case ignore the non-binding vote.

Berlin -- A referendum on keeping Berlin's Tempelhof Airport open has failed to gain the necessary support.

The vote, conducted in the German capital Sunday, secured the support of more than 21 percent of the city's electorate, against the 25 percent needed for it to be valid.

City Mayor Klaus Wowereit said ahead of the plebiscite, pushed through by Tempelhof supporters, that he would in any case ignore the non-binding vote.

Wowereit's Social Democrats (SPD) and their Left Party coalition partners mounted an energetic last-minute campaign against retaining the airport, characterizing it as "elitist."

Tempelhof, Adolph Hitler's showpiece airport built in the 1930s, is said to be the third-largest building complex in the world.

It played a crucial role in the 1948-49 Allied airlift to save West Berlin from being strangled by Russian forces at the start of the Cold War.

DPA

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