Munich 2018 Threatened By Farmers Revolt

AFP reports 59 farmers in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the proposed co-host should Munich win the bid for the 2018 Winter Games, have written a joint letter to the Bavarian state government calling for Munich’s bid to be withdrawn.

If the bid is not withdrawn by December 22 the farmers reportedly will inform the International Olympic Committee (IOC) directly that their land is unavailable.

A lawyer hired by the farmers, Ludwig Seitz, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily, “all of this land lies within the security zone that the IOC is demanding around the Olympic site”.

Siegfried Schneider, Minister at the Bavarian State Chancery, told the newspaper, “the bid is not in danger at all. If necessary we have alternative solutions”.

But according to the newspaper unnamed sources close to the talks say that this was not the case, and the farmers’ refusal would force organizers to use other land.

Meanwhile supervisory board head Michael Vesper told the German Press Agency dpa, “the candidacy is definitely not endangered. Venues are virtually unaffected by the refusal of some land owners”.

Schneider said Tuesday following a cabinet meeting, “the remaining open questions about land will be cleared up and won’t damage the bid”.

Vesper said the Bavarian state government was in close contact with the 59 farmers and land owners who have declined to make their land available during the Games.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen would stage the majority of ski events if Munich is the 2018 host city.