Berlin referendum on keeping Tempelhof fails

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Preliminary results of a referendum on the future of Berlin Tempelhof Airport show that only 21.7% of registered voters in the capital favoured keeping the downtown facility open.

Berlin’s national election office recorded a 36% turnout, with 60% voting in favour, but this meant the overall support fell short of the 25% level needed for validation.

In any case the result would have been non-binding. Courts have already ruled that Tempelhof is to shut on 31 October this year and the referendum was a desperate attempt to use public pressure to reverse the decision.

Initial results show that one of the 12 voting regions, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, posted a turnout of nearly 51%. More than 37% of registered voters in the region supported retaining Tempelhof. But this support was heavily offset in other areas, with turnout as low as 23%.

Tempelhof is to be closed, along with Berlin Tegel, to make way for the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport.