Another entry in regards to the Nürburgring shenanigans and in support of the great work of Mike and Save The Ring. German newspaper Rhein Zeitung, who are doing a great job reporting about all the developments at the Ring, have published another article of which an English version can be found below. Please keep supporting StR – the media and others are obviously listening and this story is far from over – if anything, it just seems to be getting more interesting:
Society “Yes to the Nürburgring” thinks lease should be null and void
Nurburgring : The Society “Yes to the Nürburgring” which is currently calling for 1.6 million Euro in investments in the Nürburgring to be returned, will definitely also submit a complaint to the European Commission. The society sees a violation of procurement law and is of the opinion that the Nurburgring lease should be null and void due to actions constituting aiding and abetting.
A press release issued by the law firm working for the society states that it is their goal to “use all available means to put a stop to the undesirable developments at the Nurburgring”. The state of Rhineland-Palatinate and Nürburgring Ltd, it is argued, were in breach of key provisions of EU law by putting in place the privately owned Nürburgring Automotive GmbH and allowing the company run by Kai Richter and Jörg Lindner to be in charge of all economic activities at the Nurburgring. The Society has also commissioned a legal opinion by Regensburg law professor Jürgen Kühling for this purpose.
Two MEPs, Rebecca Harms (Green Party / EFA) and Werner Langen (CDU), have already asked EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia to investigate the project last year.The Dorint hotel chain has already taken legal action in regards to the way the contract was awarded.
An online petition “Save The Ring”, aimed at Almunia, has already gathered around 19.000 signatures. The Wirtschaftswoche (Business Week) Newspaper has just reported that it was regarded as virtually certain in Brussels that the EU Competition Commission will initiate main examination proceedings.
Doubts about the approach find support in the Kühling-Report and the analysis by assigned law firm Frey. Conclusion: In connection with the project “Nürburgring 2009″ and the establishment of the Nürburgring Automotive GmbH it has “come to clear violations of European state aid and public procurement law”.
State aids were granted that, under EU law, would have required the European Commission to be notified so these could be considered by it. If this was omitted, so the society argues, it means that any underlying contracts are null and void. The lease contract between the state-owned company that owns the Ring and the Automotive GmbH which operates it would thereby be void.
The expert witness also presents a second reason for this: The state owned Nürburgring Ltd was in breach of European procurement law as it did not publicly advertise or put out to tender the operation of the race tracks and non-motorsport related activities.
As the blog 20382.com reports, mail has already arrived at the state-owned company based in Otto-Flimm street – from Otto Flimm himself. The chairman of the society “Yes to the Nürburgring”, and previous president of the ADAC (Germany’s biggest motoring organisation), is asking for 1.6325 million Euro to be returned. This amount was invested into safety measures along the Nordschleife with the aim of promoting grassroots motor sports. The society now thinks that exactly this aim can not be guaranteed anymore due to the recent developments.