Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bottoms up, Paul?

Proving once again that he's a master of poor timing, Princeton's Paul Krugman tells us that:
Above all, we need to put aside our anti-government prejudices, in the same week that the European Union is trying to get Bavarian serving wenches to cover up because they might be exposed to the sun in a beer garden:

Bavarian barmaids typically dress in a costume known as a "dirndl", a dress and apron with a tight, low-cut top whose figure-hugging effect is enhanced by a short white blouse.

Under the EU's Optical Radiation Directive, employers of staff who work outdoors, including those in Bavaria's beer gardens, must ensure they cover up against the risk of sunburn.

Bavarian bar keepers have been told that the dirndl, generally rather revealing, will have to be replaced as it offers no protection against what the directive calls "natural sources of radiation", meaning sunlight.

Employers now face heavy fines if they fail to protect their workers from the threat of sunburn or skin cancer.

"This is European law-making at its most pedantic," said Munich's mayor, Christian Ude. "A waitress is no longer allowed to wander round a beer garden with a plunging neckline. I would not want to enter a beer garden under these conditions."


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