The American auto metropolis Detroit is broke. The highly indebted city in the US state of Michigan officially filed for bankruptcy. It is the first time in US history that a city of this size has filed for bankruptcy.
Detroit was barely able to pay the cost of street lighting lately. Police and fire department operations were reduced to the most important emergency calls. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said in a letter attached to the bankruptcy petition that it had “failed to meet citizens”. According to media reports, the city has debts of around $ 19 billion.
Once known for its thriving auto industry, the city has struggled for financial survival for years. Car makers General Motors, Ford and Chrysler helped the city to flourish, at times with two million inhabitants.
But fierce competition from Japan, wrong business decisions and mismanagement in the city administration plunged Detroit into a “60-year decline,” as Snyder described the city’s decline.
Today 700,000 people still live in the city. (dpa)