German lawmakers halt plan to build reunification memorial

German lawmakers have halted a project to build a monument in Berlin celebrating the country's reunification, a plan that has been dogged by rising costs and other problems.

Parliamentary budget committee member Ruediger Kruse told news agency dpa the panel voted unanimously Wednesday to halt the project. He said that "it is time to pull the plug."

Lawmakers approved the project in 2007. Five years ago, officials chose a design shaped like an upturned scale which visitors could have climbed on.

Estimated costs rose from 10 to 15 million euros ($11.3 million to $17 million) and construction never started, with problems including the discovery of a colony of rare bats.

East and West Germany were united on Oct. 3, 1990, less than a year after the Berlin Wall fell.