Herald Sun (Australien) - Online-Ausgabe unter heraldsun.com.au vom 4.3.2010

Cash-strapped village sells potholes

A CASH-STRAPPED village in eastern Germany has put its many potholes up for sale in a novel effort to finance the repair of its crumbling roads.

People can buy a hole in Niederzimmern near Leipzig for E50 ($75).

In return the authorities will repair it - and put a personal message on top, mayor Christoph Schmidt-Rose told local radio station MDR.

"It's about using a funny idea to find people prepared to help us sort out our roads" who can then "sort of feel like they own the hole in the road", Mr Schmidt-Rose said.

He said that some potholes had already been snapped up by television channels and newspapers wanting to advertise.

Experts estimate that months of severe winter weather have left as many as 40 per cent of Germany's roads badly damaged, while the recession has made it hard for local authorities to patch them up.