Beer prices irk Viennese fans

Viennese residents aren't exactly waiting in anticipation for the start of Euro '08 -- Austria is considered the weakest host team in the history of major international competition -- but locals are up in arms after learning that beer at the official fan zone in the historic center of Vienna will cost the equivalent of $7, or $2 more than a beer will cost at the same venues in co-host Switzerland.

"It is crazy," Christian Habermueller, who offers horse and carriage rides to tourists in Vienna's city center, told Reuters. "Completely idiotic."

The fan zone will accommodate up to 70,000 locals and visitors, but the mood in Vienna is subdued two weeks before the start of the tournament.

"We haven't seen much collective excitement here yet," Vienna businessman Burkhard Strasser complained, "and the authorities haven't done much to get people in the mood."

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