Laschet, Scholz and Baerbock: the faces of the two chancellor candidates and their opponent will be known across Germany at the latest after the general election last Sunday. The parties have advertised their candidates on thousands of election posters. Now the posters have to be removed again within a short time – otherwise there is a risk of fines.
The deadline for removal in Cologne is on October 2nd at midnight. If a party leaves their posters in addition, the city can impose a fine. According to the city, the amount up to a maximum of EUR 1000 is determined “according to the circumstances of the individual case”. Among other things, the number of posters that have not been removed can be relevant for this.
Election posters can easily be overlooked in Cologne
But the distinction between “negligence and intent” also plays a role. “Individual posters can be overlooked,” said a city spokesman. In this case, the public order office will request the parties to remove them after the deadline has expired. If the posters are still hanging two days later, the city is assuming intent. Even if many of the posters in prominent places are not taken down – for example in the middle of a pedestrian zone or on Rheinuferstraße – the city can assume intent.
To avoid a penalty, the parties must hurry by Saturday. Depending on the size of the party, that’s not that easy. “There are three of us doing this with one car. In total, we have already been on the road for three days in Cologne, and we have already created half of a total of 200 positions, ”says Torsten Ilg from the Free Voters.
Larger parties have more staff for these tasks, but they also have more to do. Like the Greens with around 2,300 poster locations: “To remove all of them, we rented a Sprinter. The local associations also use cargo bikes a lot because they didn’t hang up quite as many as we as the district association, ”says Elisabeth Huther, spokeswoman for the Greens’ association.