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Topless sunbathing allowed in Munich after heatwave sparks debate

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By Kirsten Ripper  & Alice Tidey
Topless sunbathing allowed in Munich after heatwave sparks debate
Copyright  REUTERS / Andreas Gebert

The soaring temperatures in Germany have sparked a heated debate in Munich over what constitutes appropriate swimwear.

Tempers flared last Friday when women sunbathing topless on the Isar river banks were told off by security guards.

Local media reported that the five security guards' intimidating behaviour prompted nearby sunbathers to come to the women's rescue and remove their own tops in solidarity. Police were called and they too demanded women cover up their chests.

The incident was denounced as a case of double standards with many pointing out men are allowed to sunbathe topless, with the local Green Party demanding on Tuesday that the city council clarify its swimwear ordinance, which states that appropriate swimwear has to be worn outside designated nudist areas.

The ruling Christian Democrats echoed this call, also lodging an emergency application for the ordinance to be reviewed.

The council settled in favour of the amending the city's ordinance on Wednesday to say that when sunbathing on the Isar river banks, swimwear must only "completely cover the primary reproductive organs."

Several temperature records were broken across Europe on Wednesday with 38.9C recorded in eastern Germany — the hottest temperature ever recorded in June in the country.

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