An event took place on Friday where interested parties could familiarize themselves with the main project of the American electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla in Grünheide, Brandenburg. Mayor Arne Christiani (independent) and Minister of Economics Jörg Steinbach (SPD) answered questions.
According to TAZ, the state of Brandenburg sees the project as a great opportunity and looks forward to further Tesla settlements. But there were dissenting voices. Water supply and wastewater disposal during the planned plant caused a lot of discussion. Citizens protested for and against Tesla.
Brandenburg's Minister of Economics and Grünheide's mayor answered questions from approximately 400 citizens. People from Grünheide, as well as from surrounding communities such as Erkner, Fürstenwalde or Petershagen, gathered in a meeting room at the Grünheide private school.
For more than two months now, it has been known that an American company wants to create a Gigafactory in Grünheide and wants to produce up to 500,000 electric cars every year. Tesla's documents were available to interested parties for three weeks.
“The rumor mill is raging,” said Minister of Economy Steinbach at the beginning of the meeting. "It is high time to demotion the topic."
During the meeting, a number of issues were discussed: water supply, clearing of adjacent forests, reconstruction of infrastructure, immigration, development and CO2 emissions. The mood in the hall was very tense because vital issues for people were discussed.
Brandenburg's Minister of Economics remained calm. He gave answers to all the questions posed, tried to convey the knowledge of specialists in simple words, gave examples and translated the words of politicians. According to Steinbach, the sale price of the territory for the future Tesla settlement was checked twice so that it was not too low.
He also told people that instead of cleared areas of the forest, a new forest will be planted, the territory of which will be three times more than the size of the one on which the factory is planned. He explained that if necessary, more distant sources of water will be used, and additional costs for this will not be transferred to the population. Such measures will ensure that the factory is not harmful to the environment.
Tesla's representatives didn't attend the meeting for a simple reason. The American automobile manufacturer still "doesn't have an inch of territory here", so the presence of its representatives is not required here.
Mayor Christiani reminds people that the area near Grünheide has been designated a commercial area for 20 years, and anyone who lives here knows that too. Also, according to Mayor, the future factory "is an opportunity to save young people here."
Source: @Gf4Tesla / Twitter
The meeting ended two hours later. According to the media that attended the meeting, the mood of the people improved slightly, because they received answers to questions that interest them. This meeting was the beginning of mutual understanding between the protesters and representatives of the local government.
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Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.