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Selling the cellar in the face of austerity

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Selling the cellar in the face of austerity
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Desperate times call for desperate measures – like the French selling their vintage wines.

The city of Dijon, which is best know for its fine mustards, has just auctioned off half of the 7,000 bottles in its municipal cellar.

Dijon is the capital of the Burgundy region and the wines were originally bought for banquets and to be given to visiting dignitaries, but the city’s socialist mayor said they had more bottles than they needed.

The 151,000 euros raised will mostly be spent on social programmes, which the mayor said are more and more in demand in these times of austerity, but around 10 percent of the proceeds will be used to restock the cellar.

Local authorities are being affected by spending cuts as part of the Paris government’s austerity measures.

Experts say with the green shoots of recovery still a long way off, France’s economy is set to shrink further this year.

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