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Police routinely clear out the camps. Residents in the southern city of Marseille recently burned down a Roma camp after blaming them for burglaries.


Millions of beers later, Oktoberfest shuts off taps

BERLIN — Munich’s famed celebration of beer, the Oktoberfest, drew to a close after some 6.4 million visitors downed an estimated 6.9 million liter mugs of Bavarian brew — about 14.6 million pints.

Organizers said they were satisfied with this year’s event, which opened Sept. 22 and ended Sunday — although visitor numbers were lower than last year.

Festival director Dieter Reiter said that was because the festival grounds were reduced to accommodate an agricultural fair that takes place every four years, news agency DAPD reported.

In 2011, the Oktoberfest drew some 6.9 million visitors, who downed more than 7 million liters.

The Oktoberfest draws visitors from around the world — many of whom try out traditional Bavarian dress. Mr. Reiter says: “Purely from a visual point of view, there are only Bavarians.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports