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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Holiday drinking concerns pour in

With julebord (holiday party) season in full swing, concerns have bubbled up once again over scenes of drunken Norwegians on the streets late at night. Politicians, though, can’t seem to agree on how to address the rowdiness.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) ran a special segment on its documentary program Brennpunkt recently about weekend drinking in downtown Oslo. Several bars and nightclubs were still pouring drinks for clearly inebriated customers, while fights broke out in the streets. Local hospitals and emergency rooms reported that nearly all injuries treated during late-night hours were related to drinking.

Proposals have been made to force closure of bars at 2am nationwide, while other politicians urge fines and revocation of liquor licenses to establishments that break regulations against serving drunk customers.

“Liquor licenses should be easy to get, and easy to lose,” claimed Kjersti Toppe, a Member of Parliament for the Center Party (Sp). Øystein Skjøtveit of the Progress Party (Frp), which advocates liberal drinking laws, claimed that Oslo officials monitor individual bars at least three times a year and feel that’s adequate.

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