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.
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 2 Fifa corruption arrests: Nike reported to be 'multinational sportswear company' at centre of bribery claims over Brazil shirt deal
- 3 Facebook Messenger sends 'creepily' precise location data, as revealed by Marauders Map Chrome extension
- 4 Bahar Mustafa: Goldsmiths Students' Union diversity officer to keep her job after vote of no confidence petition fails
- 5 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
Hopes raised for treatment of severe amnesia after scientists retrieve lost memory – using light
Playboy model April Summers speaks out about being a victim of a voyeuristic sex crime
Poorest part of London is wealthier than the richest parts of Northern Ireland and Wales
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
How to live to be really old
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to develop an ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...