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July 20, 2009

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Drinking ban begins for youths in Milan

MILAN will become the first Italian city to bar drinking for youths aged under 16 when a ban takes effect today, and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he favored it nationwide.

Faced with a growing youth drinking problem, the city council in Italy's fashion and business capital voted on Friday to crack down on underage alcohol consumption.

In Corriere della Sera newspaper yesterday, Berlusconi said Milan was a model for the rest of Italy.

"I'm worried about the reckless way in which young people are using" alcohol, Berlusconi said.

"So other ordinances from mayors throughout Italy would be welcome, they would have my full support."

Milan has set a fine of 500 euros (US$705) for the possession and consumption of alcohol for those under 16 as well as for those selling to under age buyers. The under age drinker's parents will be notified of the penalty.

"Children are good at getting around obstacles, we've stepped in with a fully-rounded ordinance," Mayor Letizia Moratti said.


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