Thousands join protest against rail project

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Stuttgart today to protest against a disputed railway project that has become a headache for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Stuttgart today to protest against a disputed railway project that has become a headache for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Protest organiser Christoph Wertz said 100,000 people turned out to oppose plans to move the city’s station underground, but police put the figure at around 55,000.

Critics view the €4.1bn Stuttgart 21 project as a waste of money, while supporters say it will free up the city’s packed centre and help shorten journeys across Europe.

Ms Merkel strongly backs the plan but observers say it risks undermining her centre-right coalition in state elections in Baden-Wuerttemberg next March.

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