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Bubbly ban for tennis toffs

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12:01 CET+01:00
A nightclub owner in western Sweden is furious that local authorities have decided to ban the popular practice of spraying exclusive champagne in public.

Every summer wealthy club-goers from Stockholm's Stureplan circuit set off on a pilgrimage to the Båstad tennis tournament.

These patrons annually engage in a practice known as "stekning", which is the very precise Swedish word for jet-setters spraying champagne at each other in Båstad nightclubs during the tennis competition.

When used outside of these narrow confines, the word means "frying".

Club owner Peter Vaerst referred to the decision as another victory for Swedish envy.

"I can understand that it gets people's backs up when upper class kids are standing there spraying extremely expensive champagne over each other.

"But what people forget is that most of the 17,000 kronor they pay for a bottle goes to taxes. Or back into society in other words.

"When you look at it like that it seems advantageous that bottles are emptied in this way," said Vaerst.

The nightclub owner is worried that he will lose half a million kronor in income when youngsters from Stockholm hear about the new regulations and abandon Båstad.

The decision by local authorities to stem the flow of champagne is the result of a directive from the National Institute for Public Health. The organisation has called for a fresh interpretation of the Alcohol Law concerning preconditions for serving alcoholic drinks.

And Per Martin Boklund, alcohol supervisor for the local government, is positive to changes in the existing regulations.

"This is about preserving order in an establishment.

"I don't think that spraying a bottle while standing on a table constitutes proper order," said Boklund.

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