News in English 21.06.2011 kl. 10:14

UPDATE: Christiania accepts 'beautiful agreement'

UPDATE 21/6/11: Christiania residents agree to government's offer at meeting last night. The 120 million kroner deal has been accepted though uncertainty remains over how they intend to raise the money. "With the deal, Christiania has agreed to buy areas...

The 120 million kroner deal has been accepted though uncertainty remains over how they intend to raise the money. 

"With the deal, Christiania has agreed to buy areas of Christiania after eight years of insecurity and political turmoil," declared spokesperson Thomas E.

"This is very important for Christiania and enables it to continue as an alternative society where Christiania itself can renovate and develop the freestate," he added.

ORIGINAL STORY: After seven years of failed negotiations, Christianites are expected to agree a deal tomorrow which will see a newly-established Christiania Fund buy the land they live on for almost 120 million kroner.

The final deal values the price for the area and buildings at 76.2 million kroner, with annual rent costing six million kroner. An additional 40 million kroner covers the cost of building additional properties on the land.

Knud Foldshack, Christiania’s lawyer throughout the seven years of negotiations, told Politiken that the deal which legalises the Christiainites’ right to live on their land while preserving the freestate’s communal identity “a very, very beautiful agreement.”

The new deal also enjoys widespread political support, despite the decision to value Christiania’s properties at 3,500 kroner per square meter, well below market price for Christianshavn.

Finance policy spokesperson Mike Legarth from the Conservative party said that the pressure should be on transferring the ownership of land from the state to Christianites and legalising their status as landowners.

“If the Christianites had to pay full market price they wouldn’t have an earthly chance of paying,” he added.

The last attempt at a deal was thwarted by two major issues - the right for Christianianites to control who moved onto the land, and the fate of 300 homes built beside the water along the historic defences. Both issues have been addressed in the new proposal.

“This is a deal that has been agreed on all sides so to speak,” Foldshack said. “We are in agreement over which houses should be cleared, the right to control who may live here and the economy. In short, we have agreed about everything.”

“The new deal guarantees a reasonable rent for residents and good assurances for the future, ensuring that everyone can stay living there. That’s what’s important,” he added.

The new deal also permits Christiania to buy the land as a fund, allowing the land to be managed collectively and remain communally owned. Previous deals called for a near privatisation of the land, which residents feared would result in class conflict and result in Christiania losing its culture and identity.

“It’s basically the creation of a new council in Copenhagen. There are actually council in Denmark which are smaller. It has been a super interesting task, but also the hardest case I have ever been involved in,” Foldschack said.


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