Austria Yanks Alpine Peaks Off Market

Selling Alps is 'selling nation's soul,' say critics
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jun 15, 2011 3:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – The hills are still alive for the public. Austria has decided to yank prime real estate off the market after residents screamed about the nation's plans to auction off two alpine peaks. "We have suspended the sale to evaluate alternative possibilities," said a spokesman for the agency that buys state property and manages it for the public. He said the transaction will likely go ahead but that buyers would be restricted to "Austrian institutions" instead of the highest bidder. The Rosskopf peak, at more than 8,500 feet high, and the Grosse Kinigat, nearly 8,800 feet, were expected to sell for a total of $175,000, reports AP. "Whoever wants to sell our mountains seeks to sell the soul of our country," warned a spokesman for one organization opposing the sky-high sale. (Read more Austria stories.)

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