Kreuzberg residents were concerned about tech giant’s unethical practices and gentrification driving up rents .

Google abandon Berlin base after two years of resistance

Campaigners in a bohemian district of Berlin are celebrating after the internet giant Google abandoned strongly opposed plans to open a large campus there.

The US firm had planned to set up an incubator for startup companies in Kreuzberg, one of the older districts in the west of the capital.

 But the company’s German spokesman Ralf Bremer announced on Wednesday that the 3,000 m2 (3,590 square-yard) space – planned to host offices, cafes and communal work areas – would instead go to two local humanitarian associations.

 Bremer did not say if local resistance to the plans over the past two years had played a part in the change of heart, although he had told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper that Google does not allow protests to dictate its actions.

 “The struggle pays off,” tweeted GloReiche Nachbarschaft, one of the groups opposed to the Kreuzberg campus plan and part of the “Fuck off Google” campaign.

 Some campaigners objected to what they described as Google’s “evil” corporate practices, such as tax evasion and the unethical use of personal data.

Some opposed the gentrification of the district, which might price many people out of the area.

 A recent study carried out by the Knight Fox consultancy concluded that property prices were rising faster in Berlin than anywhere else in the world; they jumped 20.5% between 2016 and 2017.

In Kreuzberg over the same period, the rise was 71%. Kreuzberg, which straddled the Berlin wall that divided East and West Berlin during the cold war, has traditionally been a bastion of the city’s underground and radical culture.

https://www.evolutionalblogs.com/p/two-2-3-odds.html
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