Germany's Green Party Fails To Endorse Munich 2018

Germany’s opposition Green Party narrowly voted against endorsing Munich 2018’s environmental policy at a party conference Saturday, which The Associated Press reports is a “symbolic setback” for Munich’s bid.

Greens co-chairwoman Claudia Roth, a Munich 2018 board member, is leaving the board and said Sunday that party leaders “decided unanimously that we are withdrawing from the board as a party”.

The Green Party narrowly approved a motion on Saturday brought by members that described the bid as “ecologically anything but exemplary” and expensive for taxpayers, reports The Associated Press.

Munich 2018 officials say they regretted the Greens’ move. Chief Executive Bernhard Schwank said the bid’s environmentally concept had been well received internationally and “will be consistently implemented” if Munich wins the Games.

He pointed to the narrow passage of the Greens’ motion against the bid as evidence that “there is not complete rejection”.

Bernhard Schwank, CEO of Munich 2018, said following the vote, “the high proportion of representatives voting for Munich 2018, as well as the 70 abstentions, demonstrate that there was not uniformity of agreement on this subject within the Green Party”.

He added that “all political bodies involved have agreed on the environmental and sustainability concept in October. Furthermore, the Green Party within the Munich City Council fully supports the environmental content of the concept”.

Katarina Witt, Chair of Munich 2018, said of Claudia Roth’s resignation from the Munich 2018 Board of Trustees, “I regret this decision, but I want to thank Claudia Roth for all her support to date. As Chair of the Board I have lost a very fine sports fan and advisor. It seems that Claudia Roth had to take this decision as an outcome of the political vote taken by her party”.

Thomas Bach, President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation, said in a press release, “the time and process of the debate on this comprehensive and complex project, which was scheduled for only a few minutes, clearly show that this was not a democratic debate or consideration of factual issues; instead it appears to be a rejection based on political moves. For example, there was no consideration of the strong arguments brought forward by the Green Party faction of the Munich City council, which has already voted unanimously for the bid concept, having been intensively involved in the development of the content; these points have just been wiped off the table”.

He added, “on an international level it is well known that a vast majority of Germans support the concept, and that the crucial federal, state and local government parties fully and enthusiastically support Munich 2018. That’s why we continue to have an excellent chance to host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2018 in Germany”.