German rail project suspended until December: mediator
All work on a rail project in the German city of Stuttgart that sparked violent protests has been suspended until December to allow for further consultation with opponents, a mediator said on Thursday.
"No irreversible act" would take place until more discussions had taken place, said Heiner Geissler, a member of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, who was appointed as mediator on Wednesday by regional authorities.
Opponents had demanded a complete freeze of building work before agreeing to further talks, said Geissler.
Talks would begin at the end of next week with the aim of concluding "before Christmas", she said.
The seven-billion-euro (9.6-billion-dollar) plan to modernise southwestern Germany's rail network, which includes the partial destruction of Stuttgart's interwar station, has prompted mass protests in recent months, culminating on in heavy clashes last Thursday that left more than 100 people injured.
Regional authorities in Baden-Wuerttemberg state on Tuesday announced a temporary halt to tree cutting and demolition of parts of Stuttgart's station, but said building work would continue.
© 2010 AFP