Germany’s first and only Green Party premier will be up for re-election in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg in March. In a place known as a bastion of small- and mid-sized companies, the state’s premier, Winfried Kretschmann, enjoys widespread popularity – but his re-election seems unlikely. And it’s not even his own fault.
Mr. Kretschmann has pushed through some tough projects, like Stuttgart 21, the construction of the new main train station.
“Things are finally proceeding with Stuttgart 21,” said Andreas Richter, president of Stuttgart’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce. “I hadn’t expected that.”
Stuttgart 21 ranks among Germany’s most controversial large-scale building projects. Mass protests, riots and violent attacks had erupted over the expensive project for a new train station and railway route. The Green Party offered particularly stiff opposition. When the party took over the state government in 2011, the project hung in the balance. After opponents to the project were defeated in a referendum, the €6 billion, or $6.6 billion, project got underway.