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Copa Cagrana verdict next month

A bitter dispute between Vienna city council officials and a flamboyant businessman who has almost two dozen pubs and clubs at the Copa Cagrana is still going on with weekly meetings in court between the two sides.

The Copa Cagrana location is currently quiet and closed for the winter, but in the summer the location that lies alongside the River Danube comprises a tiny cluster of bars and clubs and restaurants that loudly vie for clientèle with loud music and overenthusiastic waiters.

But although well visited, the city council believes that the existing facilities do not make the most of the region's potential and they say that it has become rundown and dilapidated.

Social Democratic (SPÖ) environment councillor Ulli Sima is leading the campaign to have the area improved. She said the Copa Cagrana must become a location of "contemporary gastronomy" and added: "The site has enormous potential."

The Copa Cagrana was created more than 20 years ago on the city’s Donauinsel (Danube Island), a flood protection and popular recreation area. The site’s name refers to the beach of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Kagran, an area in Vienna-Donaustadt.

Sima explained she has been observing developments at the Copa Cagrana for some time. The councillor criticised that the site was "visually unattractive", and stressed that city officials discovered serious shortcomings such as faulty electronic installations. Sima also hit out at the managers about the poor state of some of the toilets.

Weber holds the lease for the land which he rents out to 17 pubs and bars at the Copa Cagrana.

In October 2010 the city of Vienna started general eviction proceedings against Webers company "Boardwalk Entwicklungs GmbH". The final of this Court process is now expected to take place in mid-December. Although it would be possible for a deal out of court to be made the two sides seem to have little in common and it is unlikely it will be settled without a court verdict.

Weber meanwhile is suing the council over numerous breaches including the fact that they are not allowing any more building and the illegal destruction of two stands that the council said were not authorised.

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