Mayor of Berlin to step down over airport fiasco

Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit (pictured) has said he will step down on 11 December amid the ongoing row over the city’s new airport.

Begun in 2006, the Berlin-Brandenburg airport was due to be finished in 2012 but is still awaiting its first take off.

Among the scandals dogging the $6.8bn project was the recent revelation that Alfredo di Mauro, the man in charge of fire protection for the airport’s terminal, was not a qualified engineer.

Wowereit, a Social Democrat, was widely popular but his reputation was tarnished by the airport debacle. Aged 60, he still had two years of his term to serve.

The new airport is due to replace Tegel and Schoenefeld airports and will handle some 27 million passengers a year.

As head of the airport’s supervisory council, he was widely criticised for repeated delays, but survived a confidence vote in the Berlin senate in January 2013, news reports said.

On Tuesday this week he said the airport represented the "biggest failure" of his 13-year term in office, but that it was not the only factor in his decision to step down.

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