In interviews at the end of the week, the two highest politicians at the German federal and state level spoke about the construction of the European Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide near Berlin. Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Brandenburg for “showing with Tesla how we can enforce things in a short time with our laws and funding opportunities”. And according to the SPD politician Dietmar Woidke, who as Prime Minister of the state is responsible for the state part of the project, there should be no major problems with the pending approval.
Woidke expects Tesla approval
Tesla was just one of many topics in the long interview that Chancellor Merkel gave the editorial network Germany. Regarding the objections to the German Gigafactory, some of which were discussed loudly in public during a long meeting, and other criticisms of the project, she said, “Protest and objection are part of the essence of democracy”. Overall, however, she sees great approval.
The discussion of the Tesla objections should now be over this Friday, after eight days instead of three at most. When asked about this, Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Woidke told the Bloomberg news agency that he was not worried. So far, he has not known of “any problem that would stand in the way of a building permit,” said the head of government of the Tesla state, and further: “I assume that a legally correct permit is possible.”
These are clear words, but ultimately it is not the Prime Minister who decides on the necessary permits, but his specialist authorities. He and Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach had also occasionally pointed this out in order not to expose themselves to the accusation that the permission for the Tesla project was given politically.
Tesla is attracting new companies
Until the process is completed, Tesla in Grünheide is working at its own risk with partial permits, in which steps up to the erection of the shell structures have been approved in advance. There are currently two other such advance applications, one for the clearing of another 100 hectares of pine and another with unknown content – but it could already include technology for the Tesla factory, because parts for the were in a nearby hall Paint shop discovered.
Beyond the direct significance for Germany and Brandenburg in the form of thousands of new jobs in a future-oriented industry, the settlement of Tesla is also understood as a symbolic and first step. According to the cliché, German bureaucracy and powerful environmentalists have a deterrent effect on investors, and if they do come they soon regret it. But Tesla is supposed to prove the opposite and, according to Woidke, is already at it: There are already talks with other large companies that also want to settle in Brandenburg, he said.