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Court forced to probe ‘world's most expensive BBQ’ for Bush
George takes charge of the pig in 2006. Photo: DPA

Court forced to probe ‘world's most expensive BBQ’ for Bush

Published: 26 Aug 2010 16:34 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Aug 2010 16:34 GMT+02:00

A court in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on Friday will consider whether the original bill from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s June 2006 barbecue with then US President George W. Bush has to be made public. The event is reported to have cost €8.7 million.

The plaintiff in the case, who is currently serving a jail sentence for bank robbery near the southwestern city of Karlsruhe, filed his request under the state's freedom of information law.

“It is fairly far-reaching,” said Stefan Schulz, the plaintiff’s lawyer. “Officials can only refuse to release information if it would pose a danger to the state or to a third party.”

He said he was optimistic that the ruling would be in favour of his client, who will not appear in court.

The overall cost of what has been dubbed by the German media as the “world’s most expensive barbecue” in Trinwillershagen, where the US president from Texas was fed wild boar, has already been made public.

After a request from the far-right NPD party, the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state Interior Ministry reported in 2007 and 2008 that the visit had cost €8.7 million. Other German states ponied up some €5.7 million to send police officers.

However, the plaintiff has said he wants to see original documentation detailing the costs.

The data protection commissioner of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Karsten Neumann, said earlier this summer that the request for the cost breakdown would get his support, saying that he considered “ludicrous” a previous denial by the authorities.

Justice officials had justified their denial by saying releasing an exact cost breakdown would allow the public to infer how many security personnel had been brought in from other states and, therefore, had not been present in their own jurisdictions.

All in all, some 12,000 police were called into service to provide security for the 36-hour presidential visit, during which Bush toured the Baltic Sea city of Stralsund before gleefully feasting on wild boar with Merkel.

A court spokesman said a decision in the case was not likely on Friday, but at a subsequent hearing.

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

21:23 August 26, 2010 by HANNIBAL-BARCA
The Bush Clan is of Germanic origin so naturally the world's baddest Cowboy ("Teddy Roosevelt" a close second) had to do what Cowwimps do, Dine on the World's Most Expensive Swine! Afterwards W the "decider" and Iron Lady Ang the "world's most powerful woman" shared a Warsteiner by the campfire and discussed the boredom of world domination.

This whole sordid affair so enraged the Plaintiff that he attempted robbery of a bank so that he too could partake of the world's finest swine. Now having learned his lesson of not stealing from the Banks (because they hate competition), he has given to the pursuit of the finer points of justice.

Truly it's an amazing world in which we dwell.
01:41 August 27, 2010 by Larry Thrash
The Bush haters have become a laughing stock.
08:42 August 27, 2010 by FreiburgandCambridge
I could have done the BBQ for €3million I reckon.

Then throw in another €500 for the security.

I'm very cheap.
09:07 August 27, 2010 by Prufrock2010
The Bush defenders have become extinct in the wake of the havoc wreaked by that buffoon around the world.

The 8.7 million euro barbecue isn't all. When Bush came to Wiesbaden to make a speech within the secure confines of a US military base, German authorities were required to completely shut down the city of Mainz as well as all traffic on the Rhein so that the moron's wife could go shopping. How much did that little Napoleonic junket cost the German taxpayers for security and loss of business?

The only egalitarian thing about The Shrub was that he didn't care whose economy he trashed, and he managed to do a pretty good job of it wherever he left his paw print.
09:44 August 27, 2010 by auniquecorn
Ha Ha, A great article, Just shows you how far the Merk will go just to impress Mr. Bush. What a great man.
10:38 August 27, 2010 by crunchy2k
Now about those parking tickets and discovering being happy with a man....

Local de....even uses photo-shopped pics to be real. I liked the reactor with the red sky to show it was exploding....Reminded me of Jane Fonda and the middle earth effect.... Nice movie btw with Jack Lemon.
11:30 August 28, 2010 by ReaderX
To those of you complaining about the cost of Bush visiting a city and it being "shutdown" well it is not the President's fault but rather the host nation's.

I mean the same types of precautions (and costs ) were afforded to Barack insane Hussein Obama, when he was in Berlin for one of his "I am here to save the world" speeches. This is also reciprocated in most countries with most leaders, so before you get on the Internet and try to bash one person, try getting your facts together. Otherwise you just come off as ignorant.
19:54 August 28, 2010 by wenddiver
It would have been cheaper to have a real Texas Hill Country Bar-B-Que. Ask everybody to BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle, Whiskey Dear) and Guns (an Armed Society is a polite sociey). Have the women make potato salad and the unmarried women make two pies. Unmarried women's pies are auctioned off to unmarried men for charity, money given to God's less fortunate). At dawn go to woods and shoot additional critters to Bar-b-Que with the beef (be creative javieros, jack rabbits, mule deer, quail, pigeons, doves, basically mamals and snakes). Go watch young men try to ride host's bull (no cost), clean up and go to ladies dance. Dance until tired then race cadillacs, pick-up trucks, horses, lawn mowers around ranch (All Southerners are natural born race car drivers, just ask them).
19:57 August 29, 2010 by tforeman
Yo, wenddiver -- been watching a lot of old western movies lately?

You are having fun being snotty about things other people like to do.

If you don't like pies, barbeque, hunting, dancing and car racing -- don't do it!

I suspect that whatever you do for fun would not be appealing to me.

American southerners and other inhabitants of rural areas seem to be the last acceptable targets of ridicule.

It's a big mistake to underestimate our abilities, intelligence, ingenuity and power.
22:52 August 29, 2010 by wenddiver
@tforeman- YO-you don't get it. I highly approve of that kind of entertainment. If I was heading to America from Europe, I would skip LA and NY which are slightly less safe versions of what you just left and head for Texas, Louisiana or Montana for some real fun.

By the way don't use the word YO, unless your from Detroit, Brooklyn or certain sections of LA as it cores off as being very wigger.

Again I would recommend skipping the tourist traps at both ends of America and go some place where, people are fun, cars and trucks still have big enogh engines to race, Pie is still part of the meal and the government doesn't have to act like an unwanted mother-in-law and tell you what to do with your guns. I would skip any offered horse breaking though, but use your own judgement.

It only sounds snotty and un-fun to the poor miserable souls, couped up in their apartments who have never really tried Freedom.

Life is Short -go for it.
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