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Spirits sold to minors at Christmas markets

Published on 29/12/2014

However, a survey carried out by inspectors of the federal Health Department has proved that rules are being violated in at least one in three Christmas markets.

Selling alcohol to minors is against the law.

One of the popular drinks at open-air markets at this time of year is “jenever” (gin), a drink that comes in small quantities but that is quite strong.

Health inspectors visited 30 different Christmas markets to check whether legislation is being respected, and found out that this was not the case in 10 places: “Vendors should ask youngsters their age, but this doesn’t happen”, says Paul Van den Meerssche of the Health Department. “It happens very seldom. Alcohol is sometimes even sold to 14- and 15-year-olds. I’m afraid it’s part of our culture.” 

Inspectors wrote out 16 tickets. “Most problems were situated at places where publicity is being made for spirits. We also wrote tickets for adults who were buying alcohol for minors. Magistrates will have to decide about a fine, but we wanted to give a signal.” Average fines total a couple of hundred euros.


Flandersnews.be / Expatica