German Sex Industry Official Calls For State Aid | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 16.01.2009
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German Sex Industry Official Calls For State Aid

They say sex sells, but erotic trade federation official Uwe Kaltenberg is asking the German government for financial help as sex shop owners and erotic film makers feel the pinch in tough economic times.

A Beate Uhse shop in Hamburg

Germany's erotic sector has seen sales slump with consumers reining in spending

"Economic aid would be judicious," Kaltenberg was quoted as saying by German newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung in a report to appear on Saturday but released in advance.

Consisting primarily of small and medium-sized outfits, Germany’s sex sector could use financial aid for things like continuing education, he said.

But Kaltenberg was realistic about the chances that the German government will reach into its pockets to bolster his industry.

"The rescue of (carmaker) Opel is a better draw during an election than support for the small and medium-sized companies in our sector," he told the paper.

Opel, a European subsidiary of General Motors, became the first European carmaker to seek a government bailout when in November it asked Berlin to back up loans valued at around 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion).

The sex industry isn’t fairing much better, Kaltenberg argued, so what about a bailout for it, too?

The country’s erotic industry, which includes the popular chain Beate Uhse, has suffered significantly from the popularity of the Internet, where people can download X-rated videos.

"German porn films are on a significant decline," Kaltenberg said.

US erotic industry asks for bailout

The Germany sex industry’s plea for financial help comes on the heels of a request from Larry Flynt and Joe Francis earlier this month that the US congress approve an economic support package worth $ five billion.

In asking for the cash injection, Hustler magazine publisher Flynt and "Girls Gone Wild" video series creator Francis called on congress "to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America."

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