Guess what? It’s time to reelect the mayor of Berlin! The current mayor, one Klaus Wowereit, is the apparent reelectee. But wait, doesn’t Berlin have major fiscal and social problems? Yes that is true, the unemployment rate in Berlin is close to double that of everywhere else in Germany. Along with its high unemployment rate, Berlin’s public schools are rated as some of the worst in Germany, and real estate investors are raising the price of rent so high the average citizen can’t afford them. So why is the mayor, that has served for over 10 years now, being reelected?
It’s quite simple; it might be the fact that the people of Berlin love his easy going, and quick thinking attitude. Or it might be the fact that he “Came out of the closet” during a political party conference, this makes Berlin one of Europe’s 3 major cities with a homosexual mayor (Hamburg, Paris, Berlin). Either way, Berliners love him regardless of the obvious problems that he seemingly shrugs off.
The problems Berlin faces aren’t something to shy away from, rampant joblessness, cars being set ablaze by unknown arsonists, a very unreliable public transit system, and the fact that the school system is one of the worst in Germany. Like I said before, the unemployment rate in Berlin is close to double that of Germany as a country. This, accompanied with the rising price of rent, is forcing many people out of their homes and onto the streets. The increasing amounts of homeless people, some people may argue, is both straining the public transit system and the police force. Recently there have been a rash of cars being set ablaze by unknown arsonists. But with these problems being so blatant and obvious why isn’t the mayor addressing them? And better yet why is he going to be reelected?
This too is a simple answer, during his term as mayor; he has transformed Berlin into a European cultural hub. He turned the once divided city, into a united city with a unique identity. He has also been very forthcoming in the bringing of movies and other activities to Berlin. He was also the mayor that adopted and pioneered Berlin’s slogan “Poor but Sexy”. However if the problems continue as they are now, he may have to change the slogan to “Stupid, Poor, and Homeless”.
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