2 March 2004
BERLIN – Economic times might be tough in Berlin, but the government does seem to have a little spare cash around to ensure the smooth running of at least one part of life in the German capital.
In a bid to help secure building approval for a new diplomatic school, the government is spending EUR 225,000 to construct underground tunnels for toads and frogs to help them avoid the hazards of crossing a road in a Berlin suburb.
Officials estimate that about 4,000 toads and frogs will use the five 10-metre tunnels each year.
Berlin city authorities had demanded that the government invest in an environmental project so as to win approval for the building of the school in a conservation area.
The news of the plans to construct the tunnels comes as Germany’s Social Democrat-led government battles to knock its public finances into shape so as to bring its budget deficit down below the strict three percent target for euro member states. This has already hit many government services in the country.
Officials, however, say that the money needed for building the tunnels will result in savings in other areas.
Copyright Expatica 2004
Subject: German news