• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Government pays foreign spies' Oktoberfest costs
Oktoberfest. Photo: DPA

Government pays foreign spies' Oktoberfest costs

DPA/The Local · 30 Sep 2015, 17:11

Published: 30 Sep 2015 17:11 GMT+02:00

The report by the Taxpayers Association documents how the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence service, invites colleagues from other countries to Munich's massive piss-up.

At tax payers' expense the foreign spooks are given vouchers for €50 to knock back the famously strong Wiesn beer or tuck into roast oxen. In some circumstances the government even pays for their accommodation.

The revelation is one of several examples the report outlines of the government wasting tax payers' money on frivolous ventures.

Another eye-watering instance of public wastage is a smartphone app which allows users to locate the graves of famous public figures. The app has a poor rating in app stores, but still cost half a million euros to develop.

Largesse on an even more spectacular scale can be found in the north Bavarian town of Regensburg, where the city authorities spent €50 million on a new stadium for their football team SSV Jahn Regensburg – despite the minnows currently struggling in the fourth tier of German football.

In Hamburg, authorities have had to fork up €440,000 on moving a cycle path which was built three years ago so that it no longer upsets pedestrians, but travels along the road instead. Trees, lighting and drainage all had to be moved, accounting for the exorbitant cost.

Story continues below…

In Cologne, every time the symphony orchestra play, or even rehearse, the adjacent Heinrich-Böll-Platz is closed off to traffic and pedestrians. Because of poor sound insulation in the building, the sound of voices and young skaters in the square damages the sound quality of the music, authorities say.

Blocking off the square costs an estimated €100,000 per year. As the problem has now not been solved for 15 years, total costs to the tax payer thus far are estimated at over €1.6 million.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Young Muslim takes on state on headscarf ban and wins
Aqilah Sandhu in court on Thursday. Photo: DPA

A 25-year-old lawyer has taken on the state of Bavaria over its attempts to stop her from wearing a headscarf - and scored a major victory.

Video
WATCH: Comic teaches about Ramadan on flying carpet
Photo: Screenshot from Dattelträger video.

A young comedian hopes his flying carpet stunt can help fight back against stereotypes - by becoming one.

Brexit vote
'It won't be romantic. But I need an EU passport'
Lucy Thomas (left), director at Give Something Back to Berlin. Photo: Private

British expats in Berlin tell The Local that a week after the Brexit vote they are still stunned - and are considering their next steps.

Town ravaged by floods tries to pick up the pieces
Rebuilding in Simbach. Photo: DPA

July 2nd should have been the start of a new life for Anna Kluchan and her husband. But then the floods came.

Lufthansa finally buries hatchet with cabin staff
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa and its cabin staff said Thursday they had reached an agreement on working conditions, bringing to an end a long and bitter industrial dispute that hit thousands of passengers.

Six burning questions for British expats about Brexit
Photo: DPA.

Uncertainty has kicked in over Brexit and what it may mean for Brits living in Germany.

Merkel demands German vote on EU free trade deal
Photo: DPA

Angela Merkel said the German parliament should be consulted on the EU's free trade deal with Canada, setting her on a collision course with the European Commission.

Red-faced pensioner declares war on pre-recorded sexline
Photo: DPA

An 84-year-old from Bavaria has reported a sex hotline to police after it let down his expectations of late night lust - and then charged him through the nose.

Brexit vote
Brexit 'doesn't pose big risk' to German economy
Car manufacturing at Volkswagen. Photo: DPA

While the financial markets have been thrown into disarray by the Brexit vote, leading experts on the German labour market say the country is easily strong enough to cope.

Berlin colony says no to more 'non-Germans' in its gardens
One of the many small garden colonies in Germany. Photo: DPA.

A public Berlin garden colony has come under fire for denying two Turkish families allotment spaces, saying there are already too many 'non-Germans' using the allotments.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
7,912
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd