JULY 9, 2009
Guess what, another F1 scandal...
It would be nice to have a week when there was not one scandal or another related to Formula 1 but this seems impossible at the moment. This week's scandal is a financial one, relating to the new amusement park that has been built at the Nurburgring and was opened on Thursday, without the presence of Bernie Ecclestone. It is not clear why Bernie did not appear but it was probably wise given the furore that has been going on as a result of his remarks about Adolf Hitler.
The financial scandal relates to the funding of the Nurburgring park and conference centre. The project has cost around $360m. At the start the government of the Rhineland Palatinate announced that the whole project would be privately funded. This did not happen and so the state finance minister Ingolf Deubel came up with a complex private financing scheme, involving a businessman from Dubai, American insurance companies and various companies in Luxembourg and Lichtenstein. The problem was that the scheme failed completely and the state was left to pay the whole bill. This came to light earlier this week and Deubel was forced to resign his post, while state premier Kurt Beck is also under pressure to quit, after police raided the home of a journalist who had been revealing details of the scheme.
The aim of the development was to create jobs and increase tourist revenues for the region.