Berlin’s intelligence headquarters delayed

Germany’s new foreign intelligence building, due to open in the Mitte district of Berlin in 2014, could be a year late. Difficulties with the air conditioning are causing delays and cost over-runs.

The costs have gone up from the €500 million estimated in 2003 to what could be €1.5 billion when completed, perhaps in 2015.

However 170 employees will move to Berlin from the present headquarters in Munich at the end of 2013, with the remainder to relocate when the building is finished.

Another of the problems is that highly qualified applicants for jobs at the new intelligence headquarters are not waiting for the building to open but taking up other employment offers instead. It was also revealed in summer 2011 that some blueprints of the sensitive spy headquarters were missing, presumed stolen.

This is the second setback for Berlin’s image after the last-minute announcement that the new Willy Brandt international airport would not be opening on schedule at the beginning of June because of problems with the fire safety installations. The airport should open in March 2013, although this date is no longer certain.