Baden-Württemberg spends 60.000 euros on free pretzels for cyclists
While many federal states in Germany are tightening their belts and preparing for tough financial times ahead, Baden-Württemberg has splashed nearly 60.000 euros on - ahem - free pretzels for cyclists.
Free pretzels to tempt cyclists in Baden-Württemberg
The southwestern state’s government provided the pretzels as part of its Radkultur (cycling culture) campaign, trying to tempt commuters away from their cars and onto their bikes with the help of a tasty treat. For a few days at the beginning of June, cyclists were able to show their helmet or bike at participating bakeries to receive a free pretzel.
The Pendlerbrezel (commuter pretzel) scheme proved popular - as most things involving free food do - with around 660 bakeries taking part and collectively handing over around 130.850 pretzels.
According to the State Ministry for Transport, the government paid 45 cents per pretzel to the participating bakeries, plus costs for staff and advertising materials, putting the total bill for the scheme at 58.882,50 euros.
FDP calls Pendlerbrezeln superfluous
A noble effort for the good of the planet, perhaps, but the scheme has raised a few eyebrows, with some suggesting that it was possibly not the best use of money collected through taxes.
Christian Jung, of the FDP party, described the scheme as superfluous. “This money would really have been better spent on catching up on cycling training for kids in primary school, who missed out during the coronavirus crisis,” he said. “The rapidly increasing number of accidents involving cyclists makes it obvious that we need skills instead of pretzels.”