International

Hochtief may bid to build Trump's border wall

1 March 2017
Hochtief chief executive Fernández Verdes (www.hispanidad.com)

German builder Hochtief may enter a bid to design and build a section of the 2,000km wall on the USA's southern border as a way of expanding in the US.

The remark was made by Marcelino Fernández Verdes (pictured), the firm’s chief executive, during the company’s 2016 results announcement yesterday (28 February). He said in response to a reporter’s question: “No decision has been made yet. But we are open for all contracts in the US.”

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Hochtief, which is controlled by Spanish construction group ACS, said it was forecasting a net operating profit of between €410m and €450m, compared with €361m in 2016.

However, if the company were to take on President Trump’s wall, it may not help its reputation in Germany, where it is the largest construction company.

The website of Der Spiegel magazine asked its readers whether a German company would be right to participate in the project.

More than 47,000 responded, of which around 23% were in favour, on the grounds that it is just a job like any other, but 57% said it was “morally reprehensible”.

Werkdesign’s satirical “Freedom Wall” (Werkdesign)

The remaining 21% said it would be “problematic” but “this is how the world is”.

Elsewhere in Germany, Berlin-based industrial product designer Werkdesign presented a design for a “Freedom Wall” made up of silhouettes of the Statues of Liberty with the occasional upside-down American flag.

Managing director Volker Schumann said of his design: “We Berliners know all about walls.” He later admitted that the design was satirical, although he added he was “still thinking over” an application.

Read the rest of the article at GCR

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