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The situation on Christiania – right now
In 2004 the Danish Parliament passed a new Christiania law, whose main purpose was to ‘normalize’ the legalization in Christiania and reinstate the same laws concerning listed buildings and land, building regulations and city planning as for the rest of Denmark, which Christiania had been exempt from in the previous Christiania law.
The state made Christiania an offer in the form of a ‘treaty’ they wanted Christiania to sign. Christiania decided to put together a negotiation group in order to look into this treaty and find out what it offered. In a communal meeting several groups were put together to investigate different ways for Christiania to take over the area and the buildings in a collective way.
These negotiations took quite a long time, and in the end it resulted in the refusal of the offered ‘treaty’ to Christiania. Christiania then chose to make a court case against the state, on grounds of wrongfully terminating the original contract between Christiania and the state which had lasted from 1991 until 2004.
In November 2008 Christiania brought on a court case against the state concerning the collective use of the total area and identity of Christiania. A part of this court case about the individual citizens of Christiania’s right to their houses or businesses was held in March 2009. The verdict in the High Court on May 26, 2009 was in both cases negative towards Christiania, which lost both cases. Christiania appealed both cases to the Supreme Court and on February 11, 2011 Christiania lost again!
Then soon after this the state made Christiania an offer to buy buildings and land in the ‘city area’, buying buildings and renting land in the ‘suburbs’ and renting buildings and land in ‘the country side’.
Christiania decided to accept the offer and July 1, 2012 a Foundation was created to buy Christiania for 125 mill. Danish kr. (= 16.8 mill. Euros). Of this amount 40 mill. Danish kr. were deducted from the price because Christiania had promised to renovate and maintain water, sewages, electricity, rights of ways and the rural spaces.
Extra 30 mill. Danish kr. can also be deducted from the original amount, if projects done on any of the listed buildings or land is made in agreement with the state.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Yes – Christiania is an open area for everybody to use. So Welcome!
- Yes – People in Christiania pay rent. (Every adult above the age of 18 pays a monthly fee of 1.200 Danish kr. (= 160 Euros). On top of this one has to pay for the amount of space one occupies (Square meter payment). The money goes to pay the mortgage and the 5 children institutions run by Christiania, the technical management (water, sewage, building maintenance and open areas.)
On top of this every citizen and business are meant to take care and pay for the maintenance of their own housing. Houses, living space or business space cannot be bought or sold, so people who leave Christiania will not have compensation for their investments in Christiania’s house or land.
- Yes – Christiania pays building tax to the city of Copenhagen
- Yes – Christiania has had agreements, so called “treaties” with all the different governments of Denmark since 1972.
- No – There are not any illegal houses or living space in Christiania.
For more information go to www.christiania.org or www.christianiaooo.dk