Monday, 21 July 2008

ECB's new headquarter: Too costly, a message?

"THE EUROPEAN Central Bank's plans for a new 43-floor headquarters have hit a snag -- finding a contractor to build it.

The bank officially closed a public tender it opened in August for a general contractor for the building, saying the "the ECB's estimated budget was considerably exceeded." In March, the ECB said it aimed for construction costs of around €500 million, or about $780 million.

The ECB said that as a result of its "resolute commitment to the responsible use of resources," it has put the project on hold and will now analyze its options. The work on the new headquarters, to be built in Frankfurt's Ostend district, had been scheduled to begin in October, with completion due before the end of 2011."

Here is what ECB president Trichet had to say:

Q: You shelved plans for the ECB headquarters. Your budget was 500 million euro, but the promoter wanted 1,2 billion. What are the plans ahead: will you increase the budget – and who decides that – will you start a new plan or stay in the current premises?

A: We are responsible for public money. The Governing Council is the body which decides on the proposal made by the Executive Board. We are examining the situation in view of optimizing the present situation without altering our cost estimates.

That reminded the Opera building that the government finally accepted to build for the need of 0.001% of the population while housing is getting out of control to most Finnish citizens. I would not add more as I think entertaining the elite should be put last in the list instead of focusing "fat" price increase on päiväkoti/kindengarten fee (a 30% increase year on year)...

No comments: