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Berlin Loses an Airport, Europe Gets a Constitution

DW-WORLD readers give mixed reviews of the new EU constitution, but most agree the historic airport where the Berlin Airlift was staged should be preserved.

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Berlin's Tempelhof airport will soon see its last flights.

Tempelhof should be preserved. As an American I am tired of everything that is old being destroyed so that something new and sterile can be built. We continue to do that in America. The mentality that believes anything old must be replaced is idiotic. If the people of Berlin rather than the contractors made enough noise, the politicians might listen and something with great historical significance might be saved. Tempelhof is Berlin, and its place in history must be preserved! -- Dale Peck, USA

Public ownership of Berlin Tempelhof airport is the problem, privatization the solution. Airlines and aircraft owners should form a cooperative company, including all the big historic buildings, which ought to be protected from demolition by law immediately. For me this would create a reason to move to Berlin and establish an office in this wonderful environment. The city of Chicago, Illinois, just made the same mistake of closing one of the finest historic airports, Meigs, and they have no plan or money to do anything but close it down, taking away the most attractive airfield close to the city and leaving it a wasteland. -- Thomas Godehus, Germany

Since I lived in Germany for almost 30 years, I made several trips to Berlin, during and after the existence of the Wall. Tempelhof has just as much historic value as Checkpoint Charlie. If it closes the airport, the city should create a park out of it that would include a memorial with some remnants of the airlift days. It could also include a small museum with a C47. But no golf courses, please. -- Kenneth Hiltz

EU Constitution

In the end, I think the EU Constitution will be ratified by all 25 member states. As Europe moves toward greater unity and shared sovereignty, every country has had to give up institutions and practices it would have prefered to keep. Germans, for example, had to give up the deutsche mark.Yet, there is a possitive benefit to this process. Despite all the complaints, European citizens are enjoying a renaisance that is bringing them more freedom, greater prosperity and an enduring peace that has eluded the continent for at least 1,200 years. The EU constitution is not a perfect document -- no constitution is. But the question that cuts to the core of the debate is clear for all to see: Is there anything in the past to go back to? -- Gary K. Taylor, USA

So , they managed to finally agree on an EU constitution? That was the easy part.The governments of those countries that have opted to ratify the constitution by means of a referendum will find themselves in extreme difficulty.It would not be an exaggeration to say that the chances of ratification in Great Britain, Denmark or Poland are slim at best. As a Brit, I will certainly be voting against the constitution whenever Blair decides to hold a referendum. -- Gary Chambers, United Kingdom

I don't think the constitution will be finally ratified by all members. I think and hope the core six members will continue to push for the constitution and a more economically and politically integrated group of nations. Then they can build up a powerful, respected and influential block that can play a substantial role at the international level. But European countries that wish to stop the further integration of Europe are better off leaving the European Union. -- Roberto Moretti, Italy

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