Christiania deal is done

More than 40 years after occupying a former naval base, residents of Christiania can now call the commune legally theirs

July 2nd, 2012 12:34 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Residents of the Copenhagen commune Christiania have handed 51.8 million kroner over to the state as the first instalment to purchase the disused naval base. The organisation charged with managing the settlement, Fonden Fristaden Christiania, is now responsible for an annual payment of just over five million kroner to be phased in over a three year period.

Most of the cash for the payment came via a 30-year loan from Realkredit Danmark after the fund’s own fundraising efforts had yielded just over 8 million kroner.

The agreement brings to close 40 years of wrangling between residents of the self-styled “free state” and the government. Since its occupation by a community of squatter’s the 70s, Christiania has either been viewed as a model of self-government and self-determination or a viper’s pit of illegal drug dealing and lawlessness, depending on one’s point of view.

At Sunday's ceremony marking the transfer, the buildings minister, Martin Lidegaard (Radikale), said he hoped it marked the beginning of a new chapter in the commune's history.

“Today marks the end of the 40 year tug of war between the state and Christiania,” said Lidegaard, adding that he hoped residents will join with the state in combating criminal elements in Christiania.

Recent reports of violence and drug dealing threatened to scupper the deal. A television reporter was attacked while trying to obtain secret footage of the illegal drug sales reports say are resurgent in the free state. Police say the drug sales are worth a billion kroner annually and are being controlled by gangs like the Hell’s Angels.

The deal gives residents control over just over seven hectares of the 32 hectares the commune occupies. In addiition to being granted ownership of most of the current buildings, the commune will also be allowed to construct new buildings. They are also responsible for the maintenance of the buildings located in Christiania that are still owned by the state.

First Siemens invested in the Humber, and now DONG (photo: iStock)
Trading Kingdoms: Continued investment bodes well for UK wind energy sector
Danish energy giant DONG will invest £6bn (60 billion kroner) in the UK of...
This cosy café is perfect for those that want their coffee first
Always first for chocolaty mixes at the cutting edge of coffee
As I entered this little cafe on Gammel Kongevej, there was only one rule: ...
Sometimes drones present danger to public security, for instance, when they get too close to airports (photo: iStock)
Falcon centre on Samsø to train birds of prey to destroy hostile drones
A falcon centre on the Danish island of Samsø is considering training bir...
Pegida was founded in the eastern German city of Dresden in 2014 as a protest against Muslim migrants in Germany (photo: Kalispera Dell)
Five men arrrested in anti-Islam demonstration
Five men were arrested at an anti-Islam demonstration that took place on Ax...
The donations will be divided among 12 Danish non-profit organisations, including CARE Denmark, Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, Red Barnet, Danish Red Cross and UNICEF Denmark (photo: iStock)
Danes donate almost 100 million kroner to charity campaign
Danes have donated 97 million kroner to a national fundraising campaign org...
People are encouraged to report their observations and any possible findings of a meteorite to ildkugle.dk or stjerneskud.info (photo: H. Raab)
Meteorite hits Denmark
On Saturday night, hundreds of Danes witnessed a spectacular phenomenon as ...