Listen: Tenants are up in arms over the sale of apartments on the most prominent boulevard in old Communist East Germany
"Is one of Berlin's most impressive relics from the era when half the city was separated by the iron curtain built between nineteen fifty two and nineteen sixty. I'm speaking of Karl Marx Allee it runs for a little over two kilometers between Alexanderplatz and the Frankfurt tour. What was the eastern side and was frequently uses location for military parades. But now seven hundred apartments on the Karl Marx have been bought by property developer. And there have been complaints. Sebastian borger is a London correspondent for that target speaker, and he joins me on the line. Now. Welcome back to monocle twenty four Sebastian just explain how prominent this boulevard is a great highlight of old communist east, Germany, wasn't it. It's it most certainly was. I mean, that's the whole way of the communists building their new apparently new towns. A little bit like Barron house did in Paris in the nineteenth century in those slums. And in this case, of course, all the pond our buildings, and and build as you said parade boulevards, and then the housing, in fact, of course, particularly in those roads was very prestigious was built to the high standards. Indeed, they had everything from hot water to mice tiles. And as a result, it's became it's become a very desirable place for people to live nowadays so much so this enormous property developer deutscher von has bought it and plans to do want plans to refurbish it and put it on the open market's, which of course, a lot of particularly east billons aren't used to you have to remember that. I mean, one of the great advantages of the communist east in January, but but I guess east Germany is the one I know best was that people. First of all had security of where they lived. And Secondly, the rents were in our western comparison ridicules low I remember going to Bill in nine hundred ninety talking to people, in fact, of course, friends of mine moving there and paying rents like AT Mark spec than eighty marks for for apartments starch marks apartments where you in the west in the comparible city in the west you would have paid ten times fifteen times that sometimes even twenty times and other the silent has become a victim of its own success being very attractive place to live as well. What can the Berlin authorities? Now do given the fact that it's reported that now there is nobody building four. Audible housing in in Berlin, and rents are getting beyond the means of average people. That's the problem. That's exactly the problem. You you put your finger on it. I mean, if if if the government if the local authorities on building enough flats, then of course on the open market, it's it gets higher and higher. And that's not a Berlin problem. I mean, we have the same. We've just had a demonstration in stood guard, we constantly problems in Munich, for example, which is really overheating in Berlin. I guess the the the answer would be for the government to to start building. And but also there are clear laws, which restrict the the the amount you can charge for for incentive piece companies have been reckless in the way, they charging people, for example, we've had a scandal about another of those enterprises charging for remo-. Moving snow for months when there was no snow. I mean that that's the kind of the hidden charges that that get really get people's backs up"