Kreuzberg gerhart hauptmann school: raed saleh demands the impossible

The SPD parliamentary group leader surprises again. Instead of 120 apartments, he calls for continued operation as a school. But that is no longer legally possible.

Left-wing populist or just populist? Raed Saleh Photo: dpa

Raed Saleh again. The author of these lines once described the SPD parliamentary group leader as a "left-wing populist". The taz portrait included the sentence: "Maybe it’s not about content at all. Perhaps the advancement of his person is more important to the politician Raed Saleh than the advancement of the cause."

A year and a half has passed since then. A long time in which Saleh has admittedly done nothing to show that he is primarily concerned with the cause. Worse still, his demands now lack any basis whatsoever.

The most recent example is a conversation between the head of the SPD parliamentary group and RBB. In it, he calls for the former Gerhart Hauptmann School in Kreuzberg to be turned back into a school building. The only problem is: Starting this summer, Howoge will begin building 120 apartments there. According to the state-owned housing company, these will "provide low-cost housing for refugees, homeless women with children, students and low-income families." Among other things, space is to be created on the first floor for the public Else Ury Library.

So is this an SPD man playing off one social and much-needed use (housing) against another (education) just to be in the media again?

That would be embarrassing enough, but apparently there is no upper limit on the embarrassment scale for the man from Spandau. According to Florian Schmidt (Greens), the city councilor for construction in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, a school would not be approvable at all at the moment. "The building is no longer a school. It would have to be completely rebuilt," Schmidt tells the taz. And another thing: According to the Kreuzberg school board, there is no need for elementary school places there. By the way, the school city councilor comes from the SPD. Apparently Saleh didn’t even ask him.

So what is driving Raed Saleh? Is he, who will have to fear for his job at the head of the parliamentary group next year, already working on alternatives? In any case, the author of these lines is already working on a new headline. It stands above this column and, like Saleh’s demands, lacks any truth content.

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