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Berlin To Petition Court for Federal Aid

The government of the city-state of Berlin voted this week to submit a suit at Germany’s Constitutional court to force the federal government to provide the bankrupt capital with emergency financial aid. Long battling with massive debt, dismal finances and a bloated public sector, Berlin’s ruling coalition of Social Democrats and reformed former communists is likely to formally petition the country’s highest court sometime this week. Berlin’s Finance Senator, Thilo Sarrazin, said the city, which now owes €50 billion, will never be able to get out from under its mountain of debt without outside help. Germany’s federal system allows the 16 states to ask federal authorities for financial help if there is an extreme dire need, but the German Finance Ministry contends Berlin has not yet met the required criteria.