Berlin mayor quits as airport chairman after further delay

BERLIN Mon Jan 7, 2013 10:51am EST

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit said on Monday he was stepping down as supervisory board chairman of Berlin's new international airport following another postponement of the opening date for the city's flagship project.

Wowereit, 59, a senior member of Germany's main opposition Social Democrats (SPD), has faced criticism for the repeated delays in opening the 4.3-billion euro ($5.6 billion) Willy Brandt International Airport.

The delays have tarnished Germany's reputation for efficiency. The delays, caused by red tape and, latterly, problems with the fire-safety system, have turned the airport and its city into the butt of nationwide jokes. ($1 = 0.7666 euro)

(Reporting by Matthias Sobolewski and Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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