Wednesday 22 May 2019

The Punt: ECB HQ fiasco just a bit rich

European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt
European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt

Planning is one activity we thought the European Central Bank was good at. This is an institution that single-handedly sets the course of the European economy – so The Punt was surprised to hear that it can't even work out how much space it needs for an office. Construction work on the ECB's new headquarters in Frankfurt is almost complete, but the bank now admits the new building will be too small, with only enough room for about half of its employees.

This, quite frankly, is ridiculous. The new headquarters, a two-tower building on the banks of the river Main, has already brought enough scorn on the ECB – it was revealed late last year that the skyscraper will cost as much as €1.2bn, up to €350m more than was initially forecast. The ECB rather vaguely blamed this on "a number of unforeseen challenges that needed to be dealt with". The project is now also six months behind schedule.

We might be willing to overlook this for any other of the EU institutions, but it stings that bit more coming from the body responsible for castigating European governments over their spending.

Irish Independent

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