Calls for more flexibility after Tesla criticism over Berlin plant

Criticism from Tesla about the approval process for its electric car plant near Berlin prompted a debate in Germany on Friday about hurdles to doing business in the country.

“Complex and lengthy procedures accompanied by complaints and long battles between experts have become the rule for investment projects,” the Federation of German Industry BDI’s Holger Loesch said on Friday.

“This massively inhibits investment activity in this country and scares off investors,” he added.

Among other things, Tesla had complained that, 16 months after its application, there was still no schedule for final approval of the plant’s construction.

The US company argues that possible negative consequences for the environment in the area surrounding the plant should be weighed against positive effects of promoting e-mobility.

The German government defended its stance, with the commissioner for small and medium-sized enterprises saying that efforts were being made for the rapid implementation of the project.

“I currently don’t know of any other project for which so much has been done at all levels to ensure rapid implementation for the Tesla project,” Thomas Bareiss told the Handelsblatt newspaper.

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