Long years of truce between black state government and red-green munich. The mayor of munich, christian ude, seemed to have forgotten his SPD party book, the state government loves him in peace. The good times are over. Since ude announced his candidacy last fall, there has been no sign of the former truce between the state capital and the state government – on either side. The climate has deteriorated rapidly. The disadvantage is by no means only for the citizens of the state capital, but also for the residents of other parts of bavaria.
As a native of nuremberg and a CSU politician, finance minister markus soder is neither a supporter of munich nor a friend of ude. Soder has just discovered a new way to please ude argern and the rest of the bavarian municipalities: the state capital is to forego its key allocations of 140 million euros in the municipal financial equalization scheme. Soder’s argument: as the seat of state government and many dax corporations, the state capital has locational advantages that no other municipality can compete with. "Munich is the richest city and profits from everything", says soder. "It cannot be that additional money from the municipal family then flows into munich."
Minister president horst seehofer himself subsequently emphasized that he had no "lex munchen" predefined, but the predictable quarrel had already broken out. "I welcome the fact that the CSU has discovered the problems of structurally weak municipalities after 55 years in government, mocked ude. A reform of the municipal fiscal equalization system was, of course, examined without bias. "But so far there is no concept from the state government, only party slogans." There must be "no party-politically motivated anti-munich action".
Municipal fiscal equalization is just the latest bone of contention in a growing list of issues. The three hot topics so far are the planned sale of bavaria’s largest housing company GBW, the construction of a new concert hall in munich, and what is currently bavaria’s biggest transportation project – the construction of the second munich S-bahn main line.
In the case of GBW, soder and the state government would prefer it if the previous owner, bayernlb, were to acquire the over 30.000 apartments sold to a municipal consortium. 10.000 GBW apartments are in munich – the remaining 20.000 in nurnberg, wurzburg, regensburg and other cities. In his capacity as munich’s mayor, ude has expressed interest – and in his capacity as an SPD politician, the state government "blackmail" reproached. This manover is causing trouble for the CSU. "Highly burdensome" calls finance minister soder. "The permanent confrontation between city and state is the wrong way to go", munich CSU leader and minister of education ludwig spaenle criticizes.
If the state government and the city council argue, GBW tenants in lower franconia, upper palatinate and elsewhere will suffer as well. The christian social verdict on ulrich maly, the mayor of nurnberg for the SPD, who also has a decisive say in the hoped-for GBW deal, is quite different. Soder, spaenle and other CSU members say that he is serious and that it is possible to negotiate seriously with maly.
The wrangling over the second munich suburban rail tunnel has had an impact on many more citizens. The main victims of the current blockade are not the people of munich themselves, but the residents of the surrounding counties – especially commuters. The expansion of the munich suburban rail line will also relieve the entire regional rail traffic in upper bavaria. But no agreement is in sight.
The federal and state governments were responsible for financing the billion-euro project, but federal transport minister peter ramsauer (CSU) doesn’t have the money. The state government is therefore in the embarrassing position of having to look for another financial backer because of black-yellow financial weakness in berlin – ude.
The state government wants to contribute 900 million euros anyway and has offered to pre-finance a further 350 million euros. Ude, for his part, should now advance the same amount of money to the city. But the SPD mayor has so far steadfastly refused, because the financing is not a municipal task. Seehofer argues about it. Other german municipalities in a comparable situation had not only paid an advance, but had financed the entire project, he says. "It is clear that since a certain situation" – udes candidacy "a reasonable cooperation with the state capital has become more and more difficult."
But without the city’s financial participation, the suburban rail tunnel cannot be built, as munich’s CSU politicians openly admit at party events. Ude, on the other hand, obviously sees the CSU’s demands more as a political game. If the project fails, the CSU and FDP could pass the buck to the city of munich, even though the main responsibility lies with the union and FDP in berlin. "The same tactics are suspected everywhere", criticizes seehofer.