DutchAmsterdam.nl, Amsterdam — The Council of Amsterdam’s Oost-Watergraafsmeer borough is up in arms against a pending blanket ban on the use of alcohol in Oosterpark.
Borough Chairman Martin Verbeet recently declared the ban, effective April 6 for an initial period of six months.
According to Verbeet, who can act on his own authority, some eighty to a hundred drunks have turned the popular park into ‘one huge open-air café’, seven days a week. Those numbers are doubled when the weather is good. Verbeet says the number of young drinkers also is up.
Overall the drinkers give other users of the park an unsafe feeling, claims Verbeet, who lives close to the park.
The borough’s council members say the ban took them by surprise. In November last year it voted against a blanket ban on alcohol in the park.
Most of the council members say it should be possible to drink a bottle of wine on nice summer night. To this end, D66 — one of the political parties represented in the council — on April 11 are organizing a ‘protest drink’ in the park.
Meanwhile Verbeet has said the ban will be evaluated after two months. At the end of this month he will address the Council on the issue, but he has already stated he is not thinking about cancelling the ban.
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