City of Belgrade lifts ban on nighttime sale of alcohol
The City of Belgrade has decided to lift a ban on sale of alcoholic beverages, including beer, and pyrotechnics from 22:00 until 06:00 CET.Izvor: Tanjug
This ban applied to stores and craft businesses. Councilors on Monday adopted the changes that will come into effect once they are published in the City of Belgrade Official Gazette in a week's time.
Deputy City Secretary for Economy Maja Bajagic said the ban "did not produce expected results." Instead, she said, the Association of Employees of Serbia found that "trade was down 30 percent, and employment 9.9 percent in Belgrade" as a consequence of the measure.
The Belgrade Chamber of Commerce carried out a survey and found that "300 jobs were lost" because citizens could not buy alcoholic drinks in stores during the night - "that is, the third shift lost their jobs," she said, explaining the decision.
Criticizing the changes, councilor Zoran Alimpijevic (DS) said it was "an unpopular and controversial measure that caused dissatisfaction among young people" but that there were serious reason for its introduction.
"Such measures are regularly implemented in big European cities," he said, adding there was "a big" drop in the number of those who had to receive medical assistance due to alcohol intoxication during the night.
"I'm clear on this being a popular measure," Alimpic said of the changes introduced on Monday, adding, "but I think the key here is the interest of the state to earn on alcohol sales, because the profit margin is big."