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The Independent Online
THERE ARE millennium parties galore in Berlin on New Year's Eve and, despite an estimated two million visitors adding to the crush on the night, the city is still not sold out.

For a mere DM2,000 (pounds 700) a head, revellers can enjoy a gala evening in the Reichstag.

German Railways is pleased to announce there are still first-class seats on the train to Potsdam that leaves Berlin at 10pm. The 50-mile return journey costs DM400, including live music and a buffet.

Or how about a night listening to the throaty rock star Udo Jurgens for DM500? Slightly more upmarket, at the State Opera on Unter den Linden, Daniel Barenboim is throwing a ball. Tickets start at DM1,600.

At these prices it is little wonder that most of the six million people expected to be in town will be seeking out free entertainment. They should take a bottle or three with them, though, as bars will have to charge a hefty bill to recoup their sky-high wages - waiters will be on DM250 an hour.

And the revellers will probably need to take their children with them. Baby-sitting agencies are charging DM1,000 for a 12-hour shift. That's per child.