Czech govt partially lifts hard liquor ban

Updated: 2012-09-27 10:36


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PRAGUE - After a government meeting on Wednesday, Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said it will be possible to sell and consume hard liquor manufactured before Jan 1, 2012 even without a "birth certificate" as of Thursday.

As for the rest of the alcohol, the documents testifying its origin will still be necessary. "The disposal will take place at special centers, which is yet to be specified," Necas said.

"The fact that the government passed the measure today does not mean that now everyone will storm pubs and start drinking everything that is at hand," Agriculture Minister Petr Bendl said, adding that the risk of methanol poisoning on the Czech market would persist.

Spirits tainted with methanol have killed 26 in the Czech Republic in September. Over three dozens of people are being treated in hospital with poisoning symptoms, some of whom are in a critical state.

In reaction to the series of accidents, the government first banned hard liquor sales in kiosks and street stalls and then banned on any serving and sales of spirits containing more than 20 percent of alcohol.