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Der Standard - Austria | Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mayor leaves Berlin less sexy but less poor

The Social Democrat Klaus Wowereit announced on Tuesday that he will step down as Mayor of Berlin on December 11. But his image as the "partying mayor" will be preserved, the left-liberal daily Der Standard predicts: "It's unfair and fair at the same time. Unfair because 13 years of Wowereit were more than just 13 years of superficial partying. Wowereit played a big role in transforming Berlin from a city torn between East and West into a cosmopolitan metropolis. Fair because it also stands for the sloppiness that the tourists perhaps find hip, but not the city's residents. No money for renovating the public swimming pools, a dearth of affordable housing in the city centre, piles of dog poo on the pavements, mountains of debt - Wowereit is leaving behind many problems for his successor. The city may be less sexy without him, but it can cope with that if at least it also becomes less poor."

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