Monday, November 27, 2006

You're gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola company.

And your excuse won't be that you were trying to to avert nuclear war:

Vienna - Santa Claus is being banned from Christmas markets in the European countries of Germany and Austria.

Anti-Santa campaigners say that Father Christmas was invented by Coca-Cola and detracts from the true spirit of the festive season.

Austria's biggest Christmas market is in front of the Vienna city hall where thousands of visitors stroll past stalls offering everything related to Christmas - everything, that is, except Santa.

....A Vienna city hall spokesperson said: "There are rules governing what stallholders can do and one of them is to agree not to use the image of Santa as a condition of being able to trade there.

"Santa is an English language creation, people who want to see him should go to America where I am sure Coca Cola will be happy to oblige."

The move in Vienna has been copied by Christmas markets across Austria and Germany where St Nicholas is the traditional bearer of Christmas gifts.

Bettina Schade, from the Frankfurter Nicholas Initiative in Germany, commented: "We object to the material things, the hectic rush to buy gifts, and the ubiquity of the bearded man in the red suit that are taking away from the core meaning of Christmas.

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