A port where no ships land, 600 million euros for ancient Bundeswehr radio equipment and renovated streets that are suddenly too narrow – the normal madness in Germany.

Ingo Appelt has been announced. But he doesn’t come. “Ingo Appelt is on the toilet. It’s live!” explains Mario Barth. Of course everything is wrong. Ingo Appelt is the last to enter the studio and brings a cake with him. Because “Mario Barth reveals” is celebrating an anniversary with its 50th show. “I baked the cake naked myself last night. You eat with your eyes,” explains Appelt. Then he sees Ilka Bessin and teases: “I like being on the show. I look really slim next to Ilka.” Aside from rudeness, Appelt pursues the question of why the Bundeswehr is having 30,000 radios that are now 38 years old replicated for 600 million euros. Unit price: 20000 euros. Reasons given by the soldiers: First: The training of the troops does not have to start all over again. Second: There is no need to make a new tender because this device type has already been approved. The fact that the Bundeswehr gets old technology for a lot of money is a minor matter.

Apparently, the company SBO GmbH was not so precise either and had a port built in Torgau with tax money. It cost 18.6 million euros and is on the Elbe. The problem: The Elbe is a third-class waterway that is fed by rainwater and meltwater. The water level is extremely uncertain, year-round navigation impossible. In four years, a total of five ships have docked in the port off Torgau. The occupancy in 2020 was 5.3 percent, the occupancy in 2021 was 6.49 percent. The Saxon Greens politician Gerhard Liebscher says that the change in the fairway should have been taken into account in different weather conditions. The water level is too low. “It wasn’t always possible to ship to Hamburg,” says Liebscher euphemistically. Ilka Bessin stands stunned on a bridge and looks at the empty port. She says: “Ships will never sail here.”

In the 50 Barth programs, comedians such as Bessin and Appelt repeatedly helped to humorously come to terms with wasted taxes. In the meantime, the total amount of squandered money has grown to almost 162 billion euros. The exact sum is: 161582529967 euros. “That’s just too much,” explains Mario Barth succinctly. He himself then reports on how Berlin burned many millions in the course of digitization. The capital wanted to introduce the e-prescription by last June, with which the paper economy at doctors and pharmacies should be ended. The project has so far devoured 28.1 million euros. The attempt was aborted. In a test with 1000 e-prescriptions, only 42 had worked. Since 2011, Berlin has also been tinkering with the so-called e-file. The offices should be able to send each other the data material through the network without paper. But the planned central system was a flop. Costs so far: 380 million euros.

Guido Cantz is also there. He looked around in Stuttgart. The city had three staircases painted. That devoured 75,000 euros. The Swabians wanted to encourage passers-by to use the steps and not the ramps with the colorful paintwork. That would be good for public health, so the bold thought of the planners. But apparently people can’t be motivated in that way – especially since the paintwork isn’t visible when you walk down. The people of Stuttgart also paid 85,000 euros for a wooden noise protection wall that was much too small and had small windows, and which stands a bit lost between the beer garden and a lake with birds. And another 1.8 million euros were spent on an outside staircase that is intended as a meeting place. If you take a seat there on the stairs to ratchet, you need a relaxed mind. The stairs are located on a busy main route through Stuttgart, the B14.

Mario Barth explains that hardly any politicians and administrative officials want to be in front of the camera to answer questions about their bad planning. On the one hand, this is understandable, on the other hand, they are elected by the people and/or are wasting taxpayers’ money. The mayor of Lübbenau dared. In the village, he had an 800-meter stretch of road renovated for 3.8 million euros. The problem: the traffic islands built for traffic safety make it almost impossible for the extra-long school bus to turn. Even parking spaces had to give way so that the vehicle could get around the curve. “I don’t want to talk about bad planning,” says the mayor and presents a solution. The bus stop will be relocated soon and the bus will have a new route. In contrast to Stuttgart, Lübbenau is actually doing public health a service: schoolchildren will soon have to walk 250 meters from the new bus stop to school, whatever the weather.

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