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Berlin / Munich – Two Cities / Different Crowds

  • September 19th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

berlin-nuclear-thelocalde.jpgWeekend events in Germany saw a large protest in Berlin over nuclear power stations, and the opening of the Oktoberfest in Munich.


Crowds estimated at between 40-100000, depending on who was counting, paraded to the office of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Berlin, objecting to government plans for extending the life of ageing nuclear power plants.

The 17 plants were set to be phased out by 2020, under a plan imposed by the “Red-Green” coalition government (1998-2002); two have been closed down up to the present date.

The new government moves will see the present sites run out to the anticipated life of such facilities, with a revised close-down date of 2032.

That action has alarmed the anti-nuclear movement which says it has not seen  such strong public support since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Soviet Union, in 1986.

The government says it wants to provide more time for the development of renewable fuel systems; opponents say it has given in to pressure from the energy industry.

The protest accompanies another debate, over moves to keep operating a transitional nuclear waste containment facility – with no end to the quest for a permanent site on the horizon.


oktoberfest-mayor.jpgOff to the South, thousands gathered for a few beers, at the Oktoberfest in Munich, celebrating its 200th anniversary.

Organisers estimate that some six million people will enjoy the fair, which runs for a little over a fortnight, downing an average of at least one litre stein each.

The Munich Lord Mayor, Christian Ude (picture), did the honours, getting the first barrel started, as crowds cheered.

The eating and drinking festival, with nearly 100 breweries keeping up the main supplies, is among the world’s biggest regular, regional exhibitions or fairs.


Hakan Ersen and Josie Cox, Reuters, Frankfurt, Analyst View: German cabinet extends nuclear plant life,  18.9.10., (19.9.10).

NY Times – Europe /Reuters, London, “Germans Protest Nuclear Plants”, 18.9.10., (19.9.10). (home); Aktuell – O’zapft is! (news of opening), 19.9.10.!/2002/, (19.9.10).

Pictures, oktoberfest