Monday

19th Nov 2018

New headquarters to clear €1bn, ECB admits

  • Occupy protesters outside the Frankfurt HQ earlier this year - German police have evicted the camp (Photo: Valentina Pop)

The cost of the European Central Bank's (ECB) new 45-floor headquarters will clear €1 billion according to a statement released by the bank to celebrate its "topping out ceremony."

At an opening even attended by Frankfurt's Mayor Peter Feldmann, ECB executive board member, Jorg Asmussen, said that the total cost of the twin tower skyscraper would be around €200 million higher than the original €850 million budget. He added that €530 million had already been spent on the work.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Building started in 2010 on the site of 1920s listed-building Grossmarkthalle, which had previously been used for Frankfurt's wholesale food market.

The building, which stands at 185 metres, consists of two polygonal office towers with 45 and 43 floors, respectively, connected by an atrium.

Described in the project plans as a "vertical city," the towers will bring the ECB's 2,600 staff together under the same roof.

Asmussen blamed the extra costs on unforeseen problems in converting the site, including late discoveries of contamination of the roof and insufficient steel support structures, as well as difficulties in finding a contractor to lead with the building work when the tender was originally put out in 2008.

He added that "the new premises will provide the ECB with a modern and functional headquarters, and I hope that they will be viewed by the people of Frankfurt, and beyond, as an enrichment of Frankfurt’s skyline and the landscape of Europe."

The construction is also running six months late, but the bank insists that it will be ready to open in January 2014.

Since its creation in 1998, the ECB has never owned its own home, instead renting its current "eurotower" headquarters as well as two other office blocks in the centre of Frankfurt.

The revelation comes at an awkward time for the ECB, which has been a chief player in the EU's response to the eurozone debt crisis.

Together with the European Commission and the IMF, the bank has formed part of the "Troika," demanding severe austerity measures from Greece, Ireland and Portugal in return for multi-billion euro bailouts. I

It has also played an active role in keeping government lending costs down through its bond-buying programmes.

Opinion

Panic is not answer to EU's security challenges

EU foreign ministers must choose between contaminating their civilian missions and operations with panic over security and migration, and reaffirming the EU's core values as a global actor for peace and development.

News in Brief

  1. Ireland extradites Polish man despite rule of law concerns
  2. Germany and France agree eurozone budget framework
  3. Austrian foreign minister: EU's Israel policy 'too strict'
  4. Soros and Kurz discuss Central European University move
  5. EU set to tighten rules on foreign strategic investment
  6. Macron repeats call for unified Europe in Bundestag speech
  7. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  8. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem

Opinion

EU must recognise new force for Balkans destabilisation

EU foreign ministers will discuss Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday. The EU has the opportunity to show that it is not a political dwarf in the Balkans, where not only economic, but also political reforms are necessary.

Agenda

Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK

All eyes on London this week, where May struggles to hold onto power against Brexit rebels, while EU leaders meet in Brussels on Sunday to try to clinch agreement.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Whistleblower: Danske Bank gag stops me telling more
  2. Spain raises Gibraltar, as EU and UK talk post-2020 relationship
  3. Panic is not answer to EU's security challenges
  4. Dutch flesh out proposal for EU human rights sanctions
  5. EU cheerleaders go to Russia-occupied Ukraine
  6. EU must recognise new force for Balkans destabilisation
  7. Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK
  8. How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us