Before the two-day competition, there had been an email to the OK, Gerhard Leeb confirmed a report by ORF Styria on Friday. It said: “Since we will be conducting a protest action at the Rebenland Rallye, we would need three double rooms in the period from March 15th to 18th. Thank you very much.” The start was at 1.30 p.m. without incident.
“We are prepared and the police are also ready, but first and foremost we will have the conversation,” said Leeb. Maybe nobody will come, but if they do, then they don’t want a confrontation with the protest participants, says the co-organizer.
In any case, at the start of the rally everything was calm for the time being, he told the APA. The competition started regularly: “We hope it stays that way,” added Leeb.
“We want peaceful coexistence. You have to accept us and we accept you.” All helpers were instructed not to be aggressive. “Maybe they just come with a banner,” Leeb added hopefully. The organizers assume that they are climate protectors.
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In any case, it is a new situation for the organizers: “We have never had anything like this before.” They would now have to wait and see what would happen to them. In an emergency, diversion plans are in place. However, I am concerned that it is difficult to prevent possible confrontations with fans. Leeb therefore also appealed to them to hold back, because it ultimately harms the event.
The Rebenland Rally is being held for the tenth time this year and, according to the organizers, around 145,000 spectators have been there since 2012.
Annually, the estimated, generated, additional net consumption of around 816,000 euros would generate direct gross value added in the accommodation and gastronomy sector of 340,000 euros.
“Together with the indirect and indexed effects, this results in a total added value of 750,000 euros, which is triggered annually by the Rebenland Rallye,” said Johann Lampl, chairman of the Southern Styria Chamber of Commerce regional office, in the run-up to the event. Around 20,000 visitors and over 2,500 additional overnight stays are expected in the entire Leibnitz district by Saturday.
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