Germany also has its “idiot” projects

Every country has its share of bizarre, wasteful and idiotic projects – usually paid for by the taxpayer. Most are just bungling though some are because certain politicians wish to favour a particular constituency or a particular contractor.

Bureaucrats in Germany are usually – from my limited experience – exceptionally rational. But Germany too has its share of “idiot” projects.  The “Black Book” is compiled by the German Taxpayer’s Alliance.

Some examples from The Local:

€435,000 was spent on building two bridges for field mice in In Bieberbach in the state of Baden-Württemberg. If the mice don’t use the bridge no-one can photo DPA

€435,000 was spent on building two bridges for field mice in Bieberbach. If the mice don’t use the bridge no-one can. photo DPA via The Local

  1. Two bridges for field mice in Biberach, Baden-Württemberg so that the animals can safely cross the road. The bridges alone cost around €435,000 and surveillance costs amounted to €35,000. They have not been built for human use.
  2. A memorial to the early years of Germany’s Autobahn built in a roadside lay-by in North Rhine-Westphalia. The remains of a concrete road bridge sat at the roadside of the A2 motorway but these had to be cleared for safety reasons. Rather than simply removing them, however, authorities built a memorial bridge from the remains one-and-a-half kilometres away in the lay-by. The bridge to nowhere cost €310,000 when removal would have cost €108,000. 
  3. Planners managed to spend €400,000 on a bicycle path which simply ended after 300 metres in the middle of nowhere.
  4. The German government also paid for a metal concert in China by the lesser-known German band “Drone”. Unfortunately “after the first few beats of the intro, it was clear that the Chinese were not into metal.”
  5. Costs of the Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg have risen from €77 million to €800 million.
  6. Berlin’s new airport, meanwhile, is costing €162,000 a month just to keep clean, while its opening is continuously delayed.
  7. An operating theatre in Düsseldorf’s university hospital cost €200 million but three years on it has still not been used due to inadequate fire safety precautions. A further €2 million has been spent on paying cleaning, heating and other bills for the as-yet unused ‘Operative Medicine II’ clinic.
  8.  Authorities in the town of Meschede in North Rhine-Westphalia when they left the heating on in their empty offices for eight years. Nobody turned the radiators off when the offices were emptied in November 2000, racking up a bill of €42,000 for the taxpayer. 

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