June 22, 2024



Berlin referendum: Voters mull one of Europe’s most radical ripostes to gentrification


By Dave Braneck

Germany’s looming federal elections, set to determine who will fill Angela Merkel’s over-sized shoes after her 16-year reign as chancellor, are dominating the global discussion about German politics.

But voters will be weighing in on much more than Merkel’s successor on Sunday. State elections in Berlin also fall on September 26, and a referendum that could send shockwaves throughout Europe is on the ballot.

Residents in the capital will decide if Berlin should expropriate so-called “mega-landlords”. If so, the law will be one of Europe’s most radical responses to gentrification and the rising cost of housing, socialising roughly 240,000 apartments.

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