How to waste taxpayers' money in Germany

Politics

When glitterpigs fly

German taxpayers paid €100,000 ($117,000) for the floating sculpture of this "Glitzerschwein" (glitter pig) to be installed in Halle, southern Germany. The half-tonne sculpture was elected by city officials as a symbol of Halle's history — a herd of pigs supposedly helped discover the first salt deposit in the city. The crystals symbolize grains of salt.

Politics

Too much money, too little view

The town of Brakel near Paderborn first decided to build a fish ladder on its local stream. Then, the city officials also built a €6,200 platform for the visitors. bringing them literally a step closer to nature.

Politics

Solar-powered garbage disposal

The city of Potsdam has started introducing new, Swiss-made, solar-powered trash cans at a cost of €10,500 each. The can has a built-in garbage press which expands its storage capacity, and an electronic "fullness" indicator. Still, its price tag is a far cry from traditional dumpsters, which cost about €300 apiece.

Politics

Now a shiny eyesore

An artistic statement or a waste of money? A local artist gilded a large house in a struggling part of Hamburg, covering an area of some 300 square meters (3,230 square feet) with real gold leaves. Cultural authorities donated over €85,600 for the project.

Politics

Ghost car park

The public garage in downtown Winsen, near Hamburg, has been open for months. Still, the building's 534 parking spots are mostly unused and all but the ground-floor level are unsettlingly empty. The town paid almost €11 million to build the garage, and it will continue to cover the business deficit in the years to come.

Politics

Lime tree squared

This 400-year-old lime tree in Oberursel near Frankfurt is dying. Local officials have decided to say goodbye to it by making it a part of an art project titled "The passage of time." The celebrity tree will be enclosed in a metal frame with no glass. The price is €77,000, plus a negligible opportunity cost in lost firewood.

Politics

More MPs, more problems

Thanks to Germany's electoral system and September's unusually diverse results, the new parliament is set to have over 700 members, or about 100 more than usual. The bump will force another €75 million out of citizens' pockets in 2018 alone, says the German Taxpayers Federation.

Shiny pigs, gilded houses, and a viewing platform in the middle of nowhere all triggered complaints from the German Taxpayers Federation. The group listed some of the more egregious cases in its annual "black book."