07. 06. 12. - 13:21
Lake Faak residents stop mega brothel plan
Residents living alongside the famous Austrian tourist destination of Lake Faak have won a battle to stop a mega brothel planned for Italian sex tourists.
The turquoise Lake Faak in the Austrian province of Carinthia is regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes in the Alpine country, and every year it attracts thousands of bathing and fishing tourists as well as hikers who stay at the lakeside village of Faak.
But it is also on the border with Italy where brothels are illegal – and as a result a growing number of mainly Italian men are coming into the country for sex.
And that was enough for an Italian company to snap up a plot of land and apply for permission to build a giant brothel alongside Lake Faak.
But protest organiser Franz Maier said: "There was always a brothel in the area and it's something you have to put up with, it did good business because the first major motorway exit point that you come to when you travel on the A2 from Italy is the Lake Faak exit.
"But business was obviously so good that a second brothel opened. Now we are in a situation where we have three brothels here at Lake Faak, and we don't want any more."
Maier, who retired to the area because of its natural beauty and doesn't want to see it taken over by brothels, said: "It's not going to be a good advert for the local tourism industry if you come off the motorway to visit the region and the first thing you see is a massive brothel."
Local politician Gerda Sandriesser who led the opposition welcomed the decision of the Italian company to pull out.
She said: "It is inconceivable that they are planning this project when there is a school, church and kindergarten in the immediate area. We used everything we could to get it stopped. We don't want this area turned into the equivalent of Germany's Reeperbahn. We have to think of our children."
Local freedom party politician Roland Zellot also backed the opposition, saying: "We want people to have fun here but we don't want fun houses."
The mayor in the regional capital Villach Helmut Manzenreiter (SPÖ) said that the Italians had held a meeting to discuss the case with him and had been informed of the massive local opposition against the 35 room brothel.
Manzenreiter added that because of Italian sex tourists they now had 22 brothels in the area and were unable to do anything about it.