In the wake of the worst recession since World War II, the German Foreign Ministry has decided to cut funding to international literary projects. Advocates say it imperils the already threadbare livelihood of translators across the country.

The ministry’s cultural budget for 2010 – which mainly goes to large programmes such as the Goethe Institute and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) – has been reduced by a modest €3 million to €723 million.

The most visible change due to the reduction means that there will no longer be a translation forum at the Frankfurt Book Fair this October.

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