On February 2, the construction of “Stuttgart 21” will begin for the tenth time. While the Greens were among the opponents of the project before the start of construction – in terms of electoral campaign tactics – they have been the mainstays of the project since the government took over – despite cost explosion and technical problems. Thus, S21 can be seen as a prime example of a green “Realpolitik” that is in stark contrast to the campaign slogans of the Greens. Arno Luik, long-time star author, Author of books and one of the most distinguished railway connoisseurs in this country, sums up the disaster in a nutshell.
February 2, 2020 marks the tenth anniversary of the symbolic start of one of the largest and most absurd construction projects in the industrial history of Germany: Stuttgart 21. ten years ago, the Prime Minister Günther Oettinger (CDU) and federal Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer (CSU) pressed a red button in Stuttgart’s main station and an excavator lifted a bullock out of a track in front of hundreds of invited guests. The politicians tried to laugh proudly, they did not succeed, they seemed strangely depressed at that historic Moment – because yelling whistles, noisy rattles screwed up the ceremony.
Ten years later, instead of Oettinger in Baden-Württemberg, there is a green man in power: Winfried Kretschmann. A green mayor, Fritz Kuhn, governs Stuttgart itself. And the minister of transport in the country is also a green man, Winfried Hermann. This green Trio came to Power mainly because of the resistance against S21.
In order to come to power, they said a lot about S21 before their election and also promised a lot: Kretschmann called the financing of the station “a constitutional violation”. If he was once prime minister, he promised in the 2011 election campaign, this constitutional breach would not continue with him. But he went further, this constitutional violation, he still goes further. Kretschmann, the prime minister, is thus in his own eyes: a constitutional breaker. Amazing that he can live with it. But then it is not surprising. Kretschmann is a very Special one. He is – which I admit, I do not understand at all-a cult in Baden-Württemberg.
In fact, the guy is unique – worldwide: in his youth, he was a proud bearer of the Frog buddy order in his upper Swabian Homeland. He was a shooting King and a devout Catholic, a chief minister, but he was also a hard Maoist. He was in the Communist League (KBW), a member of the Catholic Church – all of this at the same time, you have to manage! He is trained in Maoist-Leninist tactics, educated in the Catholic boarding school to Jesuit cunning-perhaps that is why he manages so well to live with the betrayal he has committed in S21.
Yes, Betrayal. The state lawyer Hans Meyer, a highly respected state lawyer in legal circles, speaks of " Swabian swindles “and a behavior of the state of Baden-Württemberg in case s 21"in the style of Mafia films”. The financing of S21, according to the lawyer, “violates a constitutional prohibition”. And: “the legal system prescribes the nullity of the contract in such a case.”
Winfried Kretschmann has taken an oath. He has vowed to “uphold and defend the Constitution and the law.” And above all to avert" harm " from its citizens. Would it not have been his duty long ago to have the legality of the questionable contracts checked? The prime minister did not do that. He just kept quiet. In general: strangely few words come out of his mouth, no matter what the railway does during his tenure at S21.
The costs explode: Kretschmann is silent.
It becomes known that, contrary to what was promised, S21 is a structural dismantling of the station’s performance: Kretschmann is silent.
It becomes known that the fire protection is full of defects: Kretschmann is silent. It becomes known that the extreme platform inclination violates all standards, which is an immense safety risk: Kretschmann is silent.
It is known that the commissioning of 2019 will be postponed to 2020, then to 2024, then to 2025, probably to 2026: Kretschmann is silent.
It becomes known that the referendum in which the people of Baden-Württemberg voted in favour of S21 proceeded with completely wrong preconditions, false promises and false figures, that it was a Farce. There, finally, Kretschmann says something: despite everything, he feels bound to this referendum. And he also says this: he rejects a discussion about a construction stop: “we are not opening an exit debate.”
In plain language this means: guys, keep drilling! Prime Minister Kretschmann - the best man of the tunnel builder Herrenknecht.
That the green prime minister declares the so – called referendum on S21 binding for all time-an impudence. Even if this vote of 27 November 2011 is stored in the collective memory of the German citizens as a vote on S21, it was not a vote on the project itself, the question to the Baden-Württemberg citizens at that time was not: “Are you for or against S21?“It was a vote on the” financing framework " of the project (i.e. the promised and binding cost ceiling of 4.5 billion euros). The citizens trusted the information that everything will be fine. And said: yes-if it does not become more expensive than promised.
Even if Prime Minister Kretschmann does not like to hear it, he does not want to be reminded of it: S21 has an “extraordinary right to terminate” if the cost ceiling of 4.5 billion euros has been breached. And this limit, another impudence, was broken by well over a billion euros just a few weeks after this referendum. Why did Kretschmann, as it would have been and still is his natural task as a caring prime minister, not fulfil his duties and make use of this “extraordinary right of termination”? He would have saved billions of euros of taxpayers ' money. He would have done so – in an extremely state-loyal way, by the way! - you are spared this money-consuming, disruptive railway traffic, this life-threatening project.
But this Prime Minister: He is silent.
Then, in 2018, the cost of the project will explode by another billion euros, now finally into the astronomical realm, to 8.2 billion euros, and finally Kretschmann says something, very cautiously, very cautiously, he says this: the critics would have been right about everything …
And what conclusions does the Prime Minister draw from this finding? This: there is this referendum, such a vote is “difficult to revise”, in any case he feels obliged since this referendum to “accompany S21 positively”. In plain language, this means: boys, please, keep digging, please, close your eyes and go through, no matter what it takes.
Prime minister Winfried Kretschmann-political-moral: a settled case. No, Of course not – it only works as well as all its predecessors, such as: Oettinger, Mappus.
Porsche will open an electric car plant in summer 2019. Kretschmann can be photographed in front of the new Porsche model “Taycan”, a high-speed tank without gun barrel: 761 HP, in 2.8 seconds to 100, the battery weighs 650 kilos. Kretschmann (as a reminder: a green one) cheers: “great to experience the departure into a new age of mobility!“And: Porsche shows that the mobility revolution is taking place right here in Baden-Württemberg. Is it still possible?
And the minister of transport of this country? Winfried Hermann, The cyclist. That’s good. He rides a bicycle with a helmet. This looks cute. But the security …
He needs to know, and he knows, that train or locomotive fires happen frighteningly often - on average every four days in Germany. Even trains that have been declared incombustible burn occasionally. For example, an ICE train on the high-speed line Cologne-Frankfurt, in Montabaur: the busy A3 had to be closed completely because of the smoke. This actually incombustible train burned for a day-outdoors! If such a train burns in the too narrow tunnels under Stuttgart, then the extinguishing takes five days, says the Stuttgart fire protection expert Joachim Keim. In addition: ratzfatz creates an absolutely deadly Cocktail, a mixture of mustard gas, phosgene, hydrocyanic acid. Travelers who suddenly become panic-stricken are without any chance of survival.
If you know, and the Minister of transport, Winne Hermann, you must know exactly what your plans are, how and what people despising the money of his voters and voters under Stuttgart built, if it knows, and he knows it – and nothing takes away what is it, then, that the Minister of transport, this cyclist with helmet: a cynic? If he sticks to this project – what is he? A morally settled case.
A year ago this Minister found truly dramatic words about S21: “a grandiose wrong decision” is this building. But he is right, the minister of transport, only: he makes no effort to correct this grandiose wrong decision. On the contrary, now, all of a sudden, even against his earlier better knowledge, he finds S21 quite OK, and he now believes what else only Oettinger, Mappus, Grube, all the pro-S21 Junkies, believe: that S21 is OK, that S21, about which all railway-independent traffic experts can only laugh bitterly, is even good for the targeted clock traffic.
Hermann: he came to Power because of S21. Even more: He came to Power, which is almost forgotten, because he has used not only against S21, but also against the equally nonsensical new line to Ulm, a long time ago: “A witty line” was, said the Minister of transport, when he was not Minister of transport, but a clear-thinking fellow-citizens: “A Swabian prank, for which I am ashamed, as a Swabian.”
Actually, this man would have to be mistaken if he thinks about his actual actions as a Minister. I do not know what he sees, what he feels, what he feels when he looks in the mirror in the evening. Perhaps he is already practicing how he enjoys the inauguration ceremony of S21 without blushing. Hermann - also he: a very good man for the railway in this horror project.
A green prime minister, a green transport minister, a green lord mayor: Fritz Kuhn, who can think of nothing else but to wave through everything. Kretschmann, Hermann, Kuhn – formerly a bearer of hope, now: S21 perpetrator.
They have become politicians who enforce something today that they have known for decades that it is grottenfalsch – but they do it nonetheless. This is unforgivable.