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Poll
Question: in restaurants be free of charge ?
Yes   -36 (87.8%)
No   -2 (4.9%)
Undecided   -3 (7.3%)
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Total Voters: 41

Author Topic: Should tap water ...  (Read 1349 times)
Tender Branson
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« on: July 19, 2012, 12:23:01 am »
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Vienna summer heats up over free tap water debate

By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press

VIENNA (AP) In Vienna's legendary coffee-house tradition, a free glass of tap water with your coffee has been a cherished part of everyday life.

Now many Viennese are up in arms over a movement by restaurateurs to start charging for tap.

It amounts to cultural sacrilege in a city where delicious tap water fed by Alpine springs is seen as a birthright, and part of the whole experience of lounging in centuries-old cafes or savoring young wine at one of the Austrian capital's many leafy outdoor eateries.

For now, payment is voluntary, with 11 restaurants participating in a charity campaign meant to collect funds for clean water-starved Sierra Leone. But the establishments pocket half the water fee and prominent restaurateurs are starting to lobby for an obligatory tap water charge, unrelated to aid for Africa, just as the charity program has begun.

Many Viennese suspect that the Sierra Leone campaign and industry calls to charge for water cannot be pure coincidence. Some see a cynical ploy to take advantage of charitable feeling for extra profit.

And many are determined to resist.

To charge for water would "be absolutely outrageous as far as I'm concerned," says Marinko Medic.

Doris Roitner calls the idea "unacceptable." Caroline Wehner, herself a waitress, says a free glass of water with an order should routinely be "part of good service in Vienna."

Admittedly, the water dispute takes a back burner even in smug Vienna to the debt crisis threatening Spain, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and other countries in the 17-nation zone using the euro.

But for now, prosperous Austria's involvement in the crisis is restricted to people fretting that their tax euros may be spent frivolously in helping bankroll risky bailouts, and there is a feeling of disconnect with Europe's less privileged. At 3.9 percent, Austria's unemployment rate is the lowest in the EU and its economy continues to expand at a time of standstill or contraction in much of the rest of the continent.

All the more reason for interest in an issue close to the hearts and wallets of the Viennese. Much of the city lives from the hospitality industry, earning over 16 billion euros (nearly $20 billion) from tourists in 2010.

Its coffee-house culture including tuxedo-clad waiters and that free glass of water was born in the 17th century after the Turks introduced coffee to the Austrian capital. Almost as long-established is the free pitcher of water served with each carafe of young wine brought to wash down delicious al fresco tavern fare.

Few drinking and dining establishments in other EU countries with drinkable tap water put a price on it, and Vienna takes pride both in its water quality and its restaurant service. Asked recently about paying for tap water at city eateries, more than two-thirds of 3,096 respondents surveyed by the daily Kurier rejected the idea.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ha07UoYwAV7Hcy3nbNB9BI6GJRsw?docId=aca87b998e6a4e70b7080054f1683c0f
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President John Hay
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012, 12:31:47 am »
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YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is the worst thing about most European restaurants... the best is the availability of sparkling water ;-)
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Governor Varavour
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2012, 01:23:23 am »
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Considering that the restaurant has to pay for the water in fees, yes. It's unfortunate but reasonable.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2012, 01:29:14 am »
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Considering that the restaurant has to pay for the water in fees, yes. It's unfortunate but reasonable.

Wow ! Really ?

The average price for 1m (= 1000 liters) of water in Austria is 2.

So, considering that an average person drinks about 0.2 liters of tap water during a regular restaurant visit, a restaurant owner can serve 5000 guests with tap water for the price of 2 !!!
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dead0man
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2012, 01:35:48 am »
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It should be up to the place giving the water out.  That seems rather obvious to me.
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2012, 02:39:36 am »
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YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is the worst thing about most European restaurants... the best is the availability of sparkling water ;-)

Really? In Sweden it's definitely standard for tap water to be free of charge. It's been in most places I can recall being at in Europe as well.
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2012, 02:57:52 am »
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I don't think I have ever been to a place that charged for tap water.
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RedPrometheus
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2012, 05:49:18 am »
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I find it extremely annoying that in Germany you don't get a complementary glass or pitcher of tapwater like in North America.

It would be great if this would be introduced here.
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2012, 09:58:50 am »
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Water with ice is free in most cheaper restaurants here in Thailand - and it isn't tap water, it is cheap bottled water from the big bottles.  In fancier restaurants  you have to pay for a bottle of water (about 15 cents I guess), as well as a fee for a bucket of ice (about 50 cents).  If you are dining alone the fancier places will give you a glass filled with ice for free if you buy a bottle of water.

Here you can see the free water in a little pitcher on the table of a cheap restaurant.  You go to a central table where you get ice from a cooler and a tin or plastic cup with straw.





Typically the non-free bottled water stands in glass bottles on  your table, and you open however many you want:



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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2012, 03:14:23 pm »
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It should be up to the place giving the water out.  That seems rather obvious to me.

     Yeah, pretty much. Besides, if free tap water is really such an important tradition in Vienna, there are profits to be had in upholding that tradition well beyond the cost of actually supplying the water. I don't really see the issue here.
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Hatman
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2012, 10:03:42 pm »
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I think this is one of those few areas where the invisible hand of the market will prevent most places from charging for water.
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2012, 11:06:56 pm »
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I think this is one of those few areas where the invisible hand of the market will prevent most places from charging for water.

Agreed, however there is something to be said for what typically happens in American cities when a drought causes a water shortage, which is that the free water is brought to the table only if asked for.
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2012, 11:40:39 pm »
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only for those earning 1.5x the poverty line or less
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ChairmanSanchez
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2012, 12:05:10 am »
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If I ran a restaurant, I would give it out for free, but the government should never force a company to give free water.
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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2012, 12:07:30 am »
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only for those earning 1.5x the poverty line or less
Requiring a free voting ID is ridiculous, but requiring people to carry around their tax returns to get water at restaurants is cool?  But you were just joking I'm sure.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2012, 12:11:08 am »
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only for those earning 1.5x the poverty line or less
Requiring a free voting ID is ridiculous, but requiring people to carry around their tax returns to get water at restaurants is cool?  But you were just joking I'm sure.

no just make people carry their 'Net Worth Card' (a card, the size of an ID, that must be updated yearly) in order to participate in legal commercial activity.
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dead0man
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2012, 12:14:53 am »
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Can they use it to prove who they are when they vote?
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2012, 12:19:03 am »
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vote for what?
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dead0man
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« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2012, 12:21:29 am »
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In elections...for public office.  Seriously?
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2012, 12:23:57 am »
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oh, then yes, of course.  the value of the vote determined by a formula (1/x)*100 whereby x=net worth in USD of the voter.
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dead0man
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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2012, 12:26:49 am »
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Enjoy your evening.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2012, 12:27:19 am »
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tip of the cap.
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SJoyce of Harrenhal
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« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2012, 08:12:11 am »
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We had a restaurant in FL that charged 25 cents for a glass of tap water. They're now out of business. Just saying.
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#Ready4Nixon
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« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2012, 08:16:25 am »
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Hey, in Michigan, it is free!
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« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2012, 03:05:04 pm »
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It should be because good customer service is good for business. I'm not sure how this is a political issue though.
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