Wednesday, 12. March 2014
29. 03. 10. - 13:00
Residents of the Upper Austrian village of Fucking fear a new media hype around their town’s name after a German company won a legal battle to produce a beer called "Fucking Hell."
German media report today (Mon) that the firm got the go-ahead from the European Patent Office to name their latest product "Fucking Hell" after an appeal chamber overruled an earlier verdict which withdrew the company’s application arguing the name was "offending, sexist and laden with anger".
Franz Meindl, the People’s Party (ÖVP) mayor of Fucking, reacted saying: "We just want to be left alone. There are all these stories about our town’s name all the time – especially in summer. Everybody writes what they want."
The 100-people community has had 15 place name signs stolen in recent years by visitors, and residents say dozens of buses packed with "tourists" regularly visit the town to have their picture taken next to the place name sign.
It is part of the town of Tarsdorf, and its name is suspected to derive from the family name Focko.
Meinl told the Austrian Times: "We don’t find it funny. Just leave us alone. We don’t harm anyone and just want to live in peace."
Asked what he thought of the international fascination with the town’s name, he said: "I really don’t know. It is just the usual spelling of the word. I’m sure I would find many town names in Britain or somewhere else which sound funny when they are pronounced in German."
And he said he would not consider changing the community’s name. He said: "There is nothing funny in the name for us and therefore I see no reason to change it. If other people laugh about it, there is nothing we can do. But we pronounce it differently in our dialect and it was never funny in any way."
Mayor Meindl also rejected suggestions the community may have benefitted economically from people coming to see the signs. "I haven’t heard of a publican who had more guests because of the hype," he said.
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