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Berlin's new airport delayed a fourth time

The opening of Berlin's new airport may be delayed a fourth time.
The Associated Press reports that one of Germany's infrastructure projects "has turned into an embarrassment for a country that prides itself on efficiency and punctuality."
Transportation Ministry spokesman Sebastian Rudolph told the AP that there are problems with the fire safety system and other technical components of the new Willy Brandt airport.
The airport was supposed to open in late 2011. It was intended to replace Berlin's two smaller airport, Tegel and Schoenefeld. The first delay would have had the airport open June 2012, then March 2013, and finally to Oct. 27, 2013. But the latest problems will likely make the October opening unlikely.
Already, the delays have more than doubled the construction to $5.8 billion. Rudolph told the AP the latest delays will probably add to the cost.
The new airport is in Brandenburg, the state that surrounds the capital. The governments of Brandenburg and Berlin own a majority of the airport's management company.
The delays have caused political turmoil in the country, with some political parties trying to unseat Berlin major Klaus Wowereit over it.
Finance Ministry spokeswoman Marianne Kothe told the AP that the government was "surprised by this development and nobody can put an exact figure on the financial repercussions."


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