He can no longer get rid of the ghosts that the red-red-green Berlin Senate has evoked with its planned economy housing policy.

The referendum, which aims to nationalize larger housing companies, goes one better and radically puts the anti-market course to an end.

In the capital, the soundboard for extremes is great.

That gives the decision in September a real chance of success, although the Senate itself now points to the high financial and legal risks of socialization and emphasizes the legally non-binding character.

The latter is not consoling. If the decision found the necessary majority of voters, it would reveal enormous incomprehension about the importance of adequate rental income as an incentive for building new apartments. Even a government located closer to the center will then find it difficult to correct the enemy image of greedy landlords and to initiate the necessary shift in housing policy towards the market and competition. But tenant-friendly policies cannot exist without the self-interest of private landlords.