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Berlin bans public drinking around Alexanderplatz

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Berlin bans public drinking around Alexanderplatz
A somewhat out of date picture of Alexanderplatz. Photo: DPA
10:36 CET+01:00
Berlin's central district Mitte will become the first part of the German capital to impose a ban on public drinking in order to discourage rowdy youths from getting out of hand.

The local council announced on Tuesday the area around Alexanderplatz, as well as four other public parks and places, will become a restricted zone for alcohol from January 1 next year to keep teenagers under control and the streets clean.

“That teenagers get drunk there in big crowds is totally inacceptable,” Councillor Ephraim Gothe told daily Berliner Zeitung, referring to the up to 350 youngsters who regularly meet on the weekends to get systematically wasted.

Despite an increasing number of minors that were found “comatose” that had to be hospitalised and residents complaining about broken glass, rubbish and even teenagers relieving themselves in public areas, officials have had trouble restricting group binging.

To avoid a switch of location by the young drinkers, the council will prohibit drinking in designated areas close by such as the Marx-Engels-Forum in the eastern part of town.

Other districts have tried to put an end to public drinking in the past, but failed due to a lack of staff to monitor the areas. The local council of Berlin's Charlottenburg district on the other hand categorically refuses the booze ban for the western central square Breitscheidplatz. “We would only suppress the problems, but not solve them,” Councillor Marc Schulte told daily Tagesspiegel.

Public drinking in Berlin was not allowed but tolerated up to 2006, when the law was suspended.

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