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Munich beer hall can't cancel right-wing AfD meeting, German court rules

The famous Hofbräukeller must allow the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) to use its premises for a party event, a court has ruled. The landlord had cited reservations over the beer hall's reputation and security.

Thursday's ruling came after restaurant manager Ricky Steinberg pulled out of a letting agreement with the AfD last week. The right-wing populist party had reserved the renowned beer hall for a party gathering there on Friday.

"I fear for the reputation of the Hofbräukeller and the security," Steinberg said when canceling the event last week.

In response, the AfD filed a complaint against the beer hall, threatening a five-figure claim in damages if the contract was not upheld. The party argued that the lease was completely legal and a deposit of 6,100 euros (almost $7,000) had already been paid.

Citing the contract, Munich's state court on Thursday ruled that the party's May 13 meeting would go ahead.

Frauke Petry

AfD leader Frauke Petry has become a divisive figure in German politics

Growing support

The

right-wing populist party has seen a surge in support

in recent months, with opinion polls suggesting that the AfD now holds 12 to 14 percent of public support nationwide.

Their strong gains have coincided with the so-called refugee crisis and

renewed debate on Islam in Germany

in much of the country. The AfD now holds seats in eight of the country's 16 state parliaments - and looks on course to claim national representation in next year's general elections.

Tourist hot-spot

The AfD's meeting at the famous Munich beer hall won't be the first time that the right-wing scene has made an appearance there. In 1919, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler made his first political speech at the Hofbräukeller.

Today, however, the restaurant is a popular eatery for locals and tourists alike, thanks to its offering of traditional Bavarian food, beer selection and interior design.

Munich Hofbräukeller

Munich's Hofbräukeller is a listed building on a site of a former brewery, dating back to the late 19th century

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