If you hang out in Berlin, on the northwest side of town.....near Kurt-Schumacher-Damm.....you've probably bumped into the festplatz area. It doesn't matter if it's spring, Christmas, or late September for Oktoberfest activities.....there's some action going on, with beer consumed and folks having amusement.
Well....things have heated up in recent weeks, as the fest grounds have been selected by the Berlin Senate to build up a container village for refugees (aimed to handle 500 folks).
It should be noted that this is less than a kilometer away from Tegal Airport, and there's a fair sized parking lot across the way, with woods on all four sides of this fest area. No one says how the container village will fit into the area but one might assume that it's on the outer edge and intended to only take up ten-percent of the fest grounds.
The issue? There's some complaints about how this will affect planning and business success for the various markets that set up there....for spring, Christmas and Oktoberfest. Frankly, no one thinks this is a bright idea and it might affect people showing up.
The bigger issue is that the city's Senate has been under continued discussions about finding areas acceptable for container-like situations and trying to make accommodations work. If you were looking for a hot issue that would affect the state election in the fall.....this effort to find open land for the refugee villages would be near the top.
Tearing down some of the woods around the fest area for accommodations? Oh my, that won't wash with the Green guys at all.
So you come to another minor issue.....which in recent weeks, there's been talking of increasing numbers of refugees trying to make their way across to Germany, and it kinda looks like they will be near 400,000 for entry by June-timeframe. Will Berlin and the other major cities be able to find additional housing or module locations for these people? It's a major question.
Things continue to make political fallout a more likely occurrence for 2017.