Lederhosen protest

Bavaria cuts subsidy, and Oktoberfest parade threatened

Mar 17, 2004 - Munich's Oktoberfest without lederhosen? It could happen. Angered by the loss of subsidies, Germany's traditional clothing associations have launched protests that could end up including Oktoberfest.


The Bavarian Trachtenvereine (traditional clothing associations) have passed a resolution calling for the restoration of a subsidy, which covers 12% of the cost of their clothes for Oktoberfest's traditional opening parade.

More than 6,000 members from the 1,000 or so Bavarian Trachtenvereine show off their finest in the parade, reveling in their vast range of different costumes. Along with the hunting associations they form the main part of the parade.

"We can understand that everyone has to save money," said Otto Dufter, president of the associations. "We could live with a reduction of 10, even 20%, but cutting it by 100 per cent has left us feeling very bitter."

He said a complete outfit for a family of three costs around $10,000, a part of which was until now met by the state of Bavaria but would now be paid by the associations. The associations, which have 200,000 full members and a further 100,000 youth members, also feel responsible for the traditional music which accompanies their clothes and language.

Bavaria is Germany's richest state but is suffering from the national economic slump and has to make cuts to its budget, including the subsidy, which will save the state almost $7.5 million a year.

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