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“Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co.” accuses Berlin construction senator of ignorance

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A day after the agreed deadline for the disclosure of the details of the commission of experts, which will advise the Senate on how to deal with the successful referendum on the socialization of housing groups, referendum activists harshly attacked the construction senator from Berlin, Andreas Geisel (SPD). They accuse him of a “terribly ignorant style of government” and that the Senate as a whole has a “questionable understanding of democracy.”

The reason for the attacks is the expiration of a deadline allegedly agreed between the initiative and Geisel for “March 21 at the latest.” As of this date, the senator had promised to publicize the composition of the expert commission and its operation. Geisel’s proposals will be decided next Tuesday, March 29. Therefore, time is running out for a public debate in the panel.

“There is a gap between the big announcements that the referendum will be treated with respect and its practical implementation,” the activists warned. One million Berliners spoke out in favor of the socialization of for-profit real estate companies, much more than the law requires for the referendum to take place. However, Geisel is trying to “involve as little as possible” the initiators of the referendum.

Spokesmen for “Deutsche Wohnen und Co. expropriate” had repeatedly demanded that representatives of large corporations or “real estate lobbyists” not be included in the expert commission. They also demanded the right of nomination of the majority of the members of the initiative commission.

Geisel had rejected these demands. The Commission is a decision-making body and not a place for political debate and majorities. The body should advise the Senate on whether the expropriations demanded by the majority of Berliners are constitutional.

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Geisel said Tuesday that “the initiative is invited to send experts to the commission.” He is sticking to the timetable for the Senate’s decision on the committee’s composition and working methods next Tuesday. If the initiative is unable to make any decision on publication by this date, “we will of course keep the places free.”

The expropriation initiative had already clashed with the Left Party, which had positioned itself as the parliamentary arm of the activists. Expropriating Deutsche Wohnen & Co. announced in a letter that it was collaborating with the Left Party.

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