dpa-AFX reports:

In view of the continuing protests against the planned acquisition of the world’s largest shipping company MSC by the Hamburg port logistics company HHLA, the AfD parliamentary group has brought a referendum into play. “This decision must not just be made by political representatives less than a year before the end of the election period,” explained Marco Schulz, spokesperson for public companies, on Friday. If almost half of an important part of the Port of Hamburg is to be placed in the hands of a private company for at least 40 years, the people must be consulted. AfD port expert Krzysztof Walczak emphasized: “The question of whether to chain HHLA and thus the Port of Hamburg to a single major Swiss shipping company is of such fundamental importance to us Hamburgers that the people should have the last word on this.”

According to Hamburg’s constitution, the city parliament can put a matter of fundamental and city-wide importance to a referendum at the proposal of the Senate or with its consent. To do so, it requires a two-thirds majority in parliament and must also set the date for the referendum by the same majority, which must be at least four months after the decision. If the referendum takes place outside of parliamentary or federal elections, it is accepted if it receives the majority of votes and at least one fifth of those eligible to vote agree – that would be more than 260,000.

MSC’s entry into HHLA is highly controversial

The acquisition of a stake in Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) by the Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is highly controversial. At a public hearing on Thursday, at which every member of the public was able to speak, all speakers sharply criticized the planned deal. Among other things, they were concerned about jobs, co-determination rights and site security. The speakers included many port workers, works councils and trade unionists, as well as representatives of initiatives, district organizations and environmental associations. Prior to this, experts had already expressed considerable doubts about the deal in two expert hearings.

However, the budget committee approved the deal on Thursday evening with the votes of the red-green majority. The CDU, the Left Party and the AfD voted against. Now it is the turn of the Bürgerschaft as the last political body. According to the red-green Senate, it is to make a final decision on the deal at the last meeting before the summer break on July 10. Previously, the Committee for Public Enterprises and the Economic Committee had already waved through the red-green Senate’s plan…

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