Commission proposes earlier closing time for night clubs

Stockholm | 2009-03-06 | 1 comment

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Berns in Stockholm is one place that - so far - is open until 5 am. Photo: Wikimedia

A new public commission on alcohol policy upsets restaurant- and clubowners in Stockholm. The commission proposes that no alcohol will be allowed to be sold after 3 am.

Today around ten bars in the city have permission to sell alcohol to 5 am. The responsible municipal commissionaire in Stockholm, Ulf Kristersson from the Moderate Party (liberal-conservative) wanted to make the system even more liberal a couple of years ago. He wanted night clubs and bars to be able to apply for any opening hours, even 24 hours if they wanted and saw a profit in it. That idea was however stopped by their coalition partners, the Christian Democrats.

The government’s commission wants to reduce people’s consumption of alcohol and violence in the streets by making it illegal to sell alcohol after 3 am. The local policemen that operate around Stureplan in Stockholm, an area with many night clubs, are happy with the idea. They think it will reduce violence and give them the possibility to put more resources on other sorts of crimes. Police units in other cities are positive as well:

– The unrest in the city will disappear a few hours earlier if they change the opening hours. Our policemen who are out in the city see so many crimes related to alcohol says Linda Bergwall at the Gothenburg police to Swedish Radio.

Restaurant and club owners are naturally more skeptical. One of them says to Dagens Nyheter that there might be more violence if all clubs have to close at the same time. In the 1970ies, when the clubs didn’t have these liberal opening hours, there were many illegal clubs in Stockholm. Some people fear that they will be back if the legal ones close at 3 am.

Maria Ljungberg-Schött, local politician for the Moderate Party in Stockholm says to DN that in a big city like Stockholm, people must be able to spend time out also after 3 am, not only for the locals but also to meet the demands from the tourists.

Tommie Ullman


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