Postcard from... Germany
Record alcohol consumption, mounting violence and eye-watering beer prices have failed to mar this year's traditional Munich Oktoberfest, which reached half-time yesterday with its backers claiming that the marathon drinking event was set to become the most successful yet.
The Bavarian Red Cross said yesterday that the number of so-called "beer corpses" – meaning drinkers who had become totally incapacitated from over consumption – had gone up by 20 per cent compared with the same period last year. They said rescue workers had been called out 445 times to deal with legless drunks.
Police said there had also been a marked increase in drink-related violence with several festival goers resorting to assaults with the 1l glass beer mugs that are a traditional feature at the event.
"Hitting somebody or throwing beer steins is an extremely dangerous crime and we were glad to have been able to arrest 25 offenders on the spot," police vice-president Robert Kopp said.
The two-week-long festival got off to an inauspicious start with the Association Against Fraudulent Pouring complaining that the price of beer had increased by nearly 50 per cent over the past decade. The average price for a litre of Bavaria's best is currently €9.35 (£7.50), compared with €6.55 in 2002.
Jan-Ulrich Bittlinger, the association's president, said he was drawing up a petition in an attempt to persuade the Munich city government to cap the price of beer. But organisers said this year's festival had already attracted a record half-time figure of 3.6 million.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
International Women’s Day: 'When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch' - feminist quotes from female icons to inspire you
International Women's Day 2014: Cherie Blair - ‘Today is a chance to see how far we still have to go’
Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
White people become less racist just by moving to more diverse areas, study finds
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 3 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 4 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
- 5 Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...