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A cobbled street in the historic center of Marburg, Germany, on Feb. 2.

A cobbled street in the historic center of Marburg, Germany, on Feb. 2.

Photographer: Ben Kilb/Bloomberg
CityLab
Government

Germany’s Covid Boomtown Stumbles Over Its Newfound Riches

The coronavirus blessed a picturesque German city with an unexpected boon, and that’s when trouble started. 

While pandemic lockdowns continue to rock cities around the world, Germany’s Marburg has emerged with a windfall that makes the quaint university town with cobbled streets and a hilltop castle look like a long-term winner of the crisis.

A Covid-19 vaccine plant operated by BioNTech SE helped provide more jobs and more income for the city of roughly 80,000, located in verdant hill country about 55 miles north of Frankfurt. Tax receipts for 2021 ballooned to 480 million euros ($550 million), the equivalent of about 6,000 euros per resident and quadruple the city council’s initial projections.