German builder Hochtief may enter a bid to design and build a section of the 2,000km wall on the US’ southern border as a way of expanding in the US.
The remark was made by Marcelino Fernández Verdes (pictured), the firm’s chief executive, during the company’s 2016 results announcement yesterday (28 February). He said in response to a reporter’s question: "No decision has been made yet. But we are open for all contracts in the US."
We Berliners know best how much suffering was caused by the division of an entire continent with barbed wire and concrete– Michael Mueller, mayor of Berlin
Hochtief, which is controlled by Spanish construction group ACS, said it was forecasting a net operating profit of between €410m and €450m, compared with €361m in 2016.
However, if the company were to take on President Trump’s wall, it may not help its reputation in Germany, where it is the largest construction company.
The website of Der Spiegel magazine asked its readers whether a German company would be right to participate in the project.
More than 47,000 responded, of which around 23% were in favour, on the grounds that it is just a job like any other, but 57% said it was "morally reprehensible".
Werkdesign’s satirical "Freedom Wall" (Werkdesign)
The remaining 21% said it would be "problematic" but "this is how the world is".
Elsewhere in Germany, Berlin-based industrial product designer Werkdesign presented a design for a "Freedom Wall" made up of silhouettes of the Statues of Liberty with the occasional upside-down American flag.
Managing director Volker Schumann said of his design: "We Berliners know all about walls." He later admitted that the design was satirical, although he added he was "still thinking over" an application.
In January, Michael Mueller, the mayor of Berlin, publicly advised Trump not to go ahead with the project. He said he could not "look on without comment when a country plans to build a new wall", adding: "We Berliners know best how much suffering was caused by the division of an entire continent with barbed wire and concrete."
Top image: Hochtief chief executive Fernández Verdes (www.hispanidad.com)