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Berliners to vote on whether electricity grid should be renationalised


Germany

Berliners to vote on whether electricity grid should be renationalised

The electricity grid in Berlin could be returned to public hands when Berliners vote in a referendum on Sunday.

It follows a campaign by the “Berliner Energietisch”, backed by the Green Party to bring the grid back under civic ownership.

Campaigners want to found a new power utility that generates renewable energy locally.

Activists say they also want to see the millions of euros profit made by owners, Swedish energy giant Vattenfall, returned to the city.

Berlin Green Party leader, Daniel Wesener, said: “We mainly don’t want the money to go to the private sector, in this case Vattenfall, but we want it to go back, in the future, to Berlin citizens”.

To succeed, they will need to get the backing of at least a quarter of the city’s voters.

There is a precedent. Last September, people in Hamburg voted to return Vattenfall’s grid to the public.

Recent polls showed 60 percent of Berliners would vote yes.

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