Beer fans lobby for Oktoberfest price cap

A group of beer-loving Munich citizens have come together to try to put brakes on the escalating price of the golden Bavarian nectar at the annual Oktoberfest.

Beer fans lobby for Oktoberfest price cap
Photo: DPA

“We’re trying to get a price limit of €7.10 per litre for all drinks,” said campaign initiator Jan-Ulrich Bittlinger, who heads the “Society Against Fraudulent Pouring” (VGBE).

The society aims to collect between 30,000 and 40,000 signatures for a petition by the start of Oktoberfest on September 22. Bittlinger is hoping this will put pressure on the Munich mayor ahead of city elections in 2014.

“Since the market can regulate itself at the Oktoberfest, some order needs to be imposed from the outside,” the campaigner told Die Welt newspaper.

“Whoever thinks that the Oktoberfest even has a hint of fair market conditions, probably believes that North Korea is a democracy.”

“What justification is there for a litre being more than €2 more expensive that in Munich’s most expensive beer garden?” he asked. “It would be possible for the city to impose a limit.”

The city authority’s economic advisor Dieter Reiter said the city had no business imposing a price cap, but that moderate beer prices were important. “I keep an eye on the landlords to make sure their demands aren’t over the top,” he said.

There were regulations in place to prevent exorbitant pricing – if beer at the Oktoberfest were to be double the local average price, that would clearly be too much, he suggested.

Toni Roiderer, spokesman for the Oktoberfest landlords, had nothing but scorn for the initiative. “Why don’t they just ask for free beer for everyone?” he scoffed.

He added that landlords paid millions to run the festival’s immense tents – which can only be refinanced “if we have a huge turnover.”

The Local/bk

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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.