I’ve touched upon the German chimney sweeps before. Mausi has explained in even more detail about them. Today, the New York Times has an article about how the EU is busting up the monopoly enjoyed by German chimney sweeps.
Few trades are as encrusted with tradition as that of schornsteinfeger, or chimney sweep. Revered as a source of good luck, with their black hats and sooty faces delighting children, chimney sweeps are a link to a vanishing past. They are also, critics say, old-fashioned monopolists.
Europe has been trying to break open the monopoly since 2003, contending that it violates laws that permit any qualified citizen of a European Union member to set up shop in any other member state. With Germany dragging its heels, the commission recently sent it a legal opinion ? a prelude to taking it to the European Court of Justice.
Is nothing sacred?