Travel

German politician says the country might have to cancel Oktoberfest due to gas shortage caused by Russia

Business Insider US
Workers add the huge roof tarpaulins on the wooden structure at a beer tent on July 8 2022, in Munich.
  • A German politician said she may suggest that Munich cancel Oktoberfest this year.
  • The famed festival — which draws millions — is set to return after a two-year pandemic hiatus. 
  • But a gas shortage caused by Russia's war in Ukraine is looming over the celebration. 
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

A German politician said the country may consider doing the unthinkable: cancel its famed Oktoberfest beer festival because of a gas shortage caused by Russia. 

Rosi Steinberger, a lawmaker in Germany's Bavaria state, said she was weighing suggesting that Munich cancel this year's Oktoberfest as the country's gas supply becomes increasingly strained, the New York Times reported on Friday. 

"I haven't asked yet," Steinberger told the Times. "But I also think that when people say there should be no taboos in what we consider — well, that's what you have to think about."

Oktoberfest — the days-long festival in Munich that draws millions of people each year — is slated to return in late September after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Looming over the celebration, however, is a new emergency measure approved by the Council of the European Union on Tuesday that will see its member states cut gas consumption by 15% from August to March.

The voluntary action will allow the EU to save on gas in case Russia cuts off gas to the continent, a threat as European countries continue to sanction Russia over its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is "continuously using energy supplies as a weapon," the council said in a Tuesday statement.

Germany, which is heavily reliant on Russian gas, is feeling the strain of the energy crisis. Cities across the country — including Munich — have been forced to turn to energy-saving initiatives like limiting heating and lighting. 



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